It is very special because we are helping a lot of people.– Kyle, Second Grade
In the Lower School, service learning projects are directed by faculty members as part of the curriculum. The goal of the program is to expose students to a wide variety of projects and to build a sense of connectedness and responsibility to the greater community. Explore the sections below for a sampling of the experiences our Lower Schoolers engage in and reflect upon.
Led by Upper Schoolers, our Elderly Empathy Workshop helps boys experience and better understand physical challenges faced by elderly individuals, including difficulty reaching items, seeing, and hearing. Then, our kindergartners visit a local assisted living center to engage with the residents through songs and activities. They engage in self-reflection following the project.
The first grade is closely connected with a school in Belize and communicates with its students through letter writing and Skype conversations. The Haverford School’s annual Lower School “Turkey Bowl,” held just before Thanksgiving, is a family day of sporting events and carnival games hosted to raise money for the students’ school supplies.
Walk for Water encourages second grade boys to experience the task of fetching clean drinking water and carrying it a distance to their homes. They walk 3 miles with gallons of water, cheered on by their pre-kindergarten buddies and the rest of the Lower School community.
The boys also work to raise money to help build wells in Africa, and take a trip to Fairmount Water Works to learn the importance of being careful stewards of our resources.
Students host a toy sale to benefit children at a local homeless shelter, taking responsibility for setting up the store’s layout, pricing the items, and managing the registers and inventory. Select boys also participate in a day-long exchange with their pen pals at The Timothy School, which serves autistic children.
As the student leaders of our Lower School, fifth graders leverage lessons from their leadership and decision education classes to enhance the experience of their fellow students. They identify and complete specific “Needs Projects” focused on social, academic, and community interests. Past projects include Men of Math (helping second graders with complex concepts), Fifth Grade Handbook (helping fourth graders transition), and Art Caretakers (care and upkeep of art displays).
Third graders host a toy sale to benefit children at a local homeless shelter.
Students make placemats for children at CHOP during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.