Service learning, or community service, is an integral and important part of education at Marin Horizon School from Primaries through 8th grade. It is our goal that graduates view service to their community as a part of the rest of their lives, whatever their eventual vocation. To that end, we seek to provide age-appropriate and varied service experiences so that students will ultimately be inspired to seek projects and causes that particularly speak to them.
Each class works on at least one project during the course of a school year which, if possible, is integrated in to the academic studies of that year. Throughout the school and grades projects cover both environmental and social causes. As children get older, we seek opportunities for projects which involve personal contact with people in the community.
In addition, our Student Council leads work on a school-wide project with events towards a goal that are scheduled throughout the year. Most recently we have sponsored children throughout the world through the organization Save the Children, and raised funds to build a community library and sponsor girls’ scholarships in Sri Lanka through an organization call Room to Read.
We encourage students who are inspired to do so to work on individual and small group projects of their own creation. Earth Week is often a venue for individual projects outside the school-sponsored projects. Communication about service projects appear in Wednesday Bulletins and Class Notes.
Having developed a strong sense of self-respect along with respect for others and the environment, students are better able to put lessons in character into action through meaningful service learning projects that affect many aspects of society, such as:
- Working on adopting acreage through the Rainforest Action Network
- Recycling batteries for the whole school community
- Creek restoration, both adjacent to the school and in other locations
- Annual Food Drive for donations to the Marin Community Food Bank
- Preparing bag lunches for donation to St. Vincent de Paul and Mill Street Center, both of which serve homeless and people in need of meals in Marin County
Individual students often extend their commitment through projects they engage in outside of school. Graduates act upon their values and convictions in a broad variety of ways. They become leaders in both small and big ways. We have graduates who are teachers, environmental educators, environmental lawyers, artists, musicians, performers, and business people. Most of the graduates with whom we are in touch are striving to make a difference in their world.