Rio Grande School

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Academics » Service Learning

Service Learning

SERVICE LEARNING

Service learning projects are developmentally appropriate, connect to classroom study and provide meaningful ways for students to give back to the community. Students gain real world experience and an understanding that their work can have a positive impact in the community outside of school. These types of experiences build character and connect to our mission and core values. Below is an outline of each grades core service learning project.

  • The Grandes class learns about caring for the earth and goes on nature walks. They pick up litter and discuss the items that are natural versus those that are man-made. They tend a garden outside their room and themes of taking care of others and their environment are woven into their curriculum throughout the year.
  • The Kindergarten class visits the elderly at the Rosemont senior home. They spend time with the seniors sharing songs and crafts they have made.
  • The First grade class sponsors a monthly food drive for the Food Depot. They present their mission to a different class each month at morning meeting. The first grade weighs it, counts it, graphs it and delivers it. They also work at the food depot bagging bread and pinto beans. This experience becomes a great math lesson as well as an opportunity to discuss hunger and our responsibility as people.
  • The Second grade learns to knit and makes hats and scarves for homeless people at the interfaith shelter.  The experience brings about meaningful discussions about homelessness and continues the discussion about our place in the world. The experience gives students a tangible way to see that the work they do can make a difference in someone else's life. The knitting provides repetition of pattern, persistence, and practice with hand strengthening and fine motor skills as well as a real physical way to help others.
  • The Third grade's Service Learning project is a natural extension of their New Mexico history theme. They focus on learning how to create pieces of tin art and then sell them at several venues in order to raise money for the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. The money is dedicated to the museum's Artist in Schools program, bringing talented Spanish Market artists to classrooms across Northern New Mexico to teach traditional Spanish Colonial Art.
  • The Fourth grade works at the Espanola Valley Animal shelter one Saturday per month. They make dog biscuits and cat toys which they promote and sell to raise money for the shelter.  
  • The Fifth grade works at the Randall Davey Audubon center four days per year doing trail maintenance, eradicating invasive species and cleaning out the acequias. They learn about the watershed, practice water testing and consider their role as stewards of the natural world. This connects to their semester-long study of water. The Fifth grade also sponsors the Move-a-Thon, which raises money for a charity of students’ choice.
  • The Sixth grade spends four days per year cleaning the school's adopted section of the Santa Fe River. This helps them to connect with the natural world and continue to develop their roles as stewards of the environment. They are also the leaders of All School Meetings that are held weekly.