Note: These themes may change before school begins.
For Fifth Grade, the Service Learning Theme is “Understanding Their Journeys” in which students examine the conflicts that lead refugees to resettle in the U.S., describe the challenges facing Arizona’s refugee population, and develop personal relationships to empower refugees to enrich our community. The Service Learning Partner may be the Catholic Charities or Lutheran Social Services, both of which provide support for refugees in Phoenix.
Curriculum Connection: Fifth graders develop relationships with adult refugees in the Phoenix area who take classes and take part in other activities. This helps students learn the stories of the refugees and allows the adults to practice their conversation skills. Students help refugees study for their citizenship tests, assist with food distribution, and participate in story time with young children. As the year progresses, we use the social studies units on Westward Expansion and the Civil War and arguments and advocacy to tie our work into our service learning through the broad themes of journeys, conflict, and advocacy.
For Sixth Grade, the Service Learning Theme is “Feeding Our Neighbors.” Our Service Learning Partner may be Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Curriculum Connection: Our students make connections from their service learning experiences to their curriculum in sixth grade math, science, and social studies. Students also learn about crop rotations, the growth cycle of different plants, and food scarcity in local communities. In all these ways, sixth graders lead the school in maintaining a garden that produces food each year to be donated to our neighbors.
We welcome other ideas for service learning within the Valley of the Sun, including those proposed by our students.