“If you want to discover yourself, lose yourself in the service of others.”
At NCS, we value diversity and the personal intelligences. Social action and service are wonderful ways to engage and support our students as they foster their intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences. Each grade level follows a theme that weaves throughout the curriculum. Grade level service projects connect with the theme and provide students with an opportunity to learn how they can connect with and can make a difference in their community.
“When youth are civically engaged they gain a sense that what they do matters, that they belong to their community, and their community belongs to them.” Harry Wilson, author of the article, If it Takes a Village to Raise a Child, How Many Children Does it Take to Raise the Village?
When choosing grade level service projects, we strive to meet the following criteria:
1. They should be fun for everyone involved.
2. They raise awareness about the issue and challenge you identified.
3. They encourage connections between the students and the curriculum.
4. They have measurable and tangible outcomes.
3/4s and 4/5s
The 4/5’s and ¾’s classes collected picture books, novels, fiction, and non-fiction books to share with children in need. At Health Care for Kids, a non-profit pediatric clinic, they see children from 0-18yrs of age primarily from underserved populations. Many of the children who walk through the doors do not have books at home. Offering them a book brings a smile to their face and is important for their development.
The 4/5s baked homemade dog cookies for animals in need. The cookies were then delivered to the Humane Society!
Kindergarten collected books for Ready Readers, an organization that inspires preschool children from low income communities to become readers!
First graders were inspired to help children at Gateway 180 Homeless shelter for women and children. They held a collection drive for toys, games, and puzzles.
Throughout the year, first grade also serves as stewards of the New City garden, helping to sweep the garden spaces clean.
Second grade gives back through a community outreach project with the Floral Conservancy at Forest Park. In the past, students have helped clear annuals, harvest vegetables, and loosen the soil in preparation for planting bulbs. Students made a valuable contribution towards enhancing and maintaining the gardens located around the Jewel Box. They collected so many vegetables during their visit that they were able to donate crates of fresh tomatos to Operation Food Search, to be distributed to hungry families in St. Louis.
Third grade students hold a collection drive of items needed for animals at the Humane Society of Missouri. They then deliver these needed items during their educational visit to the Humane Society!
Fourth grade students volunteered at St. Louis World Food Day 2013, where they contributed to the packaging of over 245,000 rice/soy protein meals. These meals will feed children in Tanzania through a school-based feeding program. In order to pay for our visit, students collected items and held a rummage sale to raise the funds. Not only did they raise enough, they doubled their fundraising goal!
4th graders also serve as Garden Stewards for a community garden in the neighborhood. Often, after harvesting fruits and vegetables, they share the harvest with a neighborhood food pantry.
The Fifth Grade became stewards of conservation at NCS. They reseached and presented Public Service Announcements to a school wide assembly about recycling and conservation. They placed signs thoughout the building labeling our trash cans accordingly.
Sixth Grade students have given their time and energy to support Operation Food Search. During their visits, they help sort and box warm winter clothing to be distributed to families in need.
Sixth Grade students held a food drive as well. They challenged each class to donate 100 cans for Operation Food Search to celebrate the 100th day of school. During their second visit to the warehouse, they helped sort and box meals to be distributed to families in need.
As part of their grade level service project, our NCS 6th Grade students alsonhelped pull invasive weeds in Panther’s Den National Wilderness area.