An Ethic of Service
Our Service Learning Program
Each October, Middle School advisors put together a service learning program which they facilitate for three straight “A Days” in our ten day cycle. Service learning is an important part of our PK-12 program at PDS, and we are pleased with how impactful this experience is for our students, and for those whom we serve.
Below is a brief summary of what we have done so far.
Green Team - The Green Team is led by Emma, and is focused on improving the carbon footprint, green space, and food waste protocols at PDS. So far they have prepared our gardens for the winter, and crafted a letter to the local congressman. They also planted crimson clover as a cover crop in our raised beds, which returns nitrogen to the soil and creates beautiful nodules of rich dirt for next year's crops to ‘eat’.
Outdoor Service - Jake is the leader of Outdoor Service, and their focus is to work to improve green spaces in the greater Poughkeepsie community. They have spent time at FDR helping them prepare their ground for the fall, maintaining the beautiful landscape that is free for everyone to enjoy, and will be venturing to Locust Grove next. Research has shown that green spaces are vital for the health of a community, both mental and physical, and the Outdoor Service team is proud of the impact they have had so far.
Early Childhood Service - Early Childhood Service is led by Karl, and each year they spend all three Service Learning days at Child and Family Development (CFD) in the city of Poughkeepsie. Once there, they spend time reading, playing, and befriending the children that are part of the center. They have also placed a Toy Donation box in the lobby of Gilkeson to collect new and old toys for the center. They will run a bake sale to raise money to help with supplies the center needs to teach their curriculum. Last year, we went over with a van full of toys and supplies and it was really amazing to see the joy and appreciation in the faces of everyone at CFD.
Early Childhood Literacy - Malorie leads the Early Childhood Literacy group, which just recently put on what was perhaps the most successful bake sale in MS history, raising $130! Every dollar raised was donated to First Book, an organization which provides new books and resources to children in need. They also welcomed the AAUW (American Association of University Women) into the space to help design and create bookmarks for children, as well as beginning to write their own children’s books.
I am so proud of the work this Middle School has done in our Service Learning program. Just as important as the work, however, is the ethic of service that we hope to cultivate in our students so that together they may work towards a better world.