7th Grade Service Learning Program Pilots Design Thinking

Collegiate School 7th Graders have worked with 13 Richmond-area nonprofit organizations as part of Connect Richmond, their grade-level community service program.
As one of the eight pillars in Collegiate’s Responsible Citizenship initiative, service learning appears in every division and serves as a tool that integrates meaningful service with the curriculum.

As a pilot project for Connect Richmond, Meg Dalrymple’s 7th Grade Advisory blended design and entrepreneurial thinking with service learning lessons and volunteer experiences at Circle Center, an adult day care service that offers community-based long term car for those with dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinson’s and stroke. The experience enabled students to deeply understand Circle Center’s mission and community as well as its needs for future success.

While engaged in mini-lessons in business, economics, entrepreneurship and public speaking, students teamed together to research topics relevant to the identified issue and collaborated to design a solution.

Students also met with leaders at Circle Center and heard from several professionals in the marketing and journalism fields. At the end of the seven-week program, the student teams pitched their solutions to Circle Center staff members, including site leaders and constituents.