Even small citizens can think big.
Green Vale’s community service / service learning program derives from a belief that our students will gain a richer perspective of the world and their place therein by serving others. Seeing our students as future leaders with a real capacity to effect change, we are motivated to guide their potential within an ethos of respect, responsibility, caring and citizenship. This aids in adding context to the privilege of a Green Vale education, ensuring that there’s a continual (and age-appropriate) view outside “the bubble”.
Service to others and stewardship of the environment is initiated through faculty-, student- and parent-led efforts. Often these efforts relate directly to curricular study, as when the 1st Grade studies African geography while raising money to supply clean water to villages where children often carry water rather than attending school.
We are proud to partner with Community Works Institute, a consortium of schools and educators committed to promoting programs that lead to students becoming caring, responsible and active members of their communities. In addition, we benefit from thought leadership provided by CSEE, Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education.
Partial list of ongoing efforts:
- Interact Club (student-led)
- Visits to senior centers to sing, connect
- Cooking for the homeless (students and faculty)
- Assembling Thanksgiving food baskets for Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club families
- Candy for active service members (Halloween)
- Cupcakes as outreach for a local orphanage
- 2nd Grade Bake Sale (using math skills to calculate change and raise money for Native American efforts)
- 3rd Grade Upcycling (repurposing of discarded materials, including recycling food scraps to make compost sold at Grandparents’ Day)
- 5th Grade Campus Recycling Rangers
- Friendship bracelets for pediatric cancer patients
- 7th Grade candy cane sales to fund holiday gifts for needy local families
- 8th Grade hosts and organizes “fun day” for autistic children
- Hoops for Hearts effort sponsored by PE Department
- Souls for Soles: donating denim jeans to help this organization make shoes for kids in various African countries
- Food & toys for animal shelters
- UNICEF collections
- Annual Coat Drive
- YSOP—8th graders go to NYC for 2 days to serve homeless in various shelters, food pantries, etc.
- Pacers run to benefit for Strength for Life (providing opportunities for cancer patients to engage in exercise)
- Ronald McDonald House
- Mama’s House
- Disaster relief efforts
- Tracking daily steps to fund Rwandan girls’ education initiative
Service learning projects emphasize both service and learning by applying classroom content to community settings. It is a way to add authenticity and purpose to classroom learning. By contrast, community service emphasizes the habits and skills of volunteerism.
Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Characterby Giacomo Bono and Jeffrey Froh