Every year, each class in the Primary School chooses a goal from the 17 United Nations Sustainability Goals to focus on throughout the year. These projects allow our students the opportunity to learn about global issues and how they relate to our local communities. The project goals are pre-assigned to each grade and are tailored to align to the grade level curriculum, guaranteeing that each student will see different Sustainability Goals throughout their time in Primary. When they can, projects are focused on working with the community during some point of the year, and all projects are shown off at the Sustainability Fair at the end of the year.
Our Toddler and Primary students love to help others and our teachers empower them with service learning opportunities in our classrooms throughout the year. In the fall and winter, our students and families participate in our annual Coats for the Cold project. In 2021, the students collected over 67 new or gently used coats for children and families in need. Our primary classrooms also undertook service learning projects in collaboration with our local COTS (Committee on the Shelterless) organization. Students collected donations and worked with their teachers to sort donations and arrange together into care packages for local families. These care packages helped families settle into new homes and stay warm with new hats, gloves, and socks. In the spring our Kindergarten students on our Middlefield campus will work together to support endangered animals. We believe that these kinds of service oriented activities at an early age help students develop empathy and give them a feeling of empowerment that they can make meaningful, positive changes in the world.
Some Sustainability Projects in the Lower Schools:
- Community Garden
- Purchase and installation of trash cans in public parks
- Book drive and donation to Primary School
- Shoe drive and donation
"We have a choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place."Jane Goodall
We want our graduates to be true Global Citizens. This means we want them to be aware of the wider world, respect and value diversity, understand how the world is interdependent, be outraged by social injustice, and be willing to contribute to our communities by taking responsibility for their actions so that we can all work towards a more sustainable world. When students follow their passions and interests, engaging and exciting learning naturally takes off. Across all academic subjects, we weave in the United Nations 17 Sustainable Goals which opens the door to global citizenship awareness. With student interests built in and middle schoolers’ innate desire to change the world, service learning naturally takes place. In Middle School, students learn about local and world issues they are passionate about and research ways they can support our local communities and our world. Whether we are studying our local natural habitats to develop a strong sense of place and inspire stewardship, researching for Global Citizenship projects locally or world wide, using the design-thinking process to solve issues we care about, or supporting our own school community, students are encouraged to follow their passions, think critically, and build a positive school community through nurtured empathetic action.
Examples of service learning projects and community partnerships over the years:
- Whole School - Warm jacket drive, books drive, Valentine’s for Petaluma People Services, Acts of Kindness Traditions
- Middle School - Yearly Service Learning Trip to Volcanes, Mexico, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Environmental Stewardship Projects, Earth Day- Community Clean Up
- 5th Grade - #SavetheSeas project, Friends of the Petaluma River and Petaluma River Park collaboration
- 6th Grade - Petaluma People Services warm sock drive
- 7th Grade - Volcanes donation organization, Redwood Food Bank volunteer hours, annual SH canned food drive, Humane Society of Sonoma County drive, volunteering at Bounty Farm, summer reading book drive
- 8th Grade - Petaluma People Services evacuation kit organization, Helen Putnam Park Services partnership: trail decommission trails that were no longer needed, planted native plants, and planted willow trees to stop erosion.