Service Learning in the Middle School

Service in the Middle School is based on Collegiate’s core value of community defined as “A commitment to responsive and compassionate citizenship and service on campus, in the local community, and in the broader world.” All service experiences emphasize the importance of building reciprocal relationships with both individuals and organizations. Each student’s community service experience stresses the importance of preparation, action and reflection. While there is no service hour requirement in the Middle School, service is an integral part of the curriculum, it is true Service-Learning. Middle School programs build on volunteer projects undertaken in the Lower School and prepare students for the service program in the Upper School.

Middle School Service Learning Includes:

5th Grade
All 5th Grade students will connect their history study of ancient cultures to modern day concerns both locally and globally, thereby enhancing their own understanding of the permanence and necessity of clean water, water scarcity and the role water played in the development of each of the cultures studied in the 5th Grade. Teachers incorporate this knowledge into experiential learning from other subjects, including science, English, reading and art to make the experience a holistic one.

6th Grade
All 6th Grade students build on the 5th Grade service learning program with the study of aquatic life on the James River and participation in the Riparian Area Service Project, designed to reforest the habitat for migratory bird species. Based on the summer reading book Wonder, the service learning program incorporates character education by promoting care and kindness to all living things.

7th Grade

Students in 7th Grade learn about local and global needs, as well as the importance of compassion and service, through summer reading and Advisory discussions. Then, once a week for seven weeks, each student serves with a teacher and parent volunteers in the Richmond community.

8th Grade
Envision Richmond: For one week our 8th Graders leave the traditional classroom and wrestle with a variety of Richmond issues such as public transportation, homelessness, immigration and urban green spaces. Using design thinking, students develop a viable solution to the problems they identified and communicate their plan to community leaders. The goal of the Envision Richmond program is to foster collaboration, empathy, creativity and problem-solving techniques within our students, so that they feel better equipped to improve the world around them.

Advisory Stone Soup Project
Following a student assembly and Advisory discussions about homelessness in Richmond, each of the 26 Advisory groups makes brown bag lunches for the homeless over the course of the school year.

MS Student Leadership in Service Includes:

Student Leadership and Service Committee
This committee is comprised of students who have expressed an interest in leadership and service throughout their Middle School years. Committee members work together to plan and implement a service project based on needs in the Richmond community, as well as assist with various Middle School programs throughout the year.

Special Middle School Council Projects
he Middle School Council representatives research and select one charitable organization to support throughout the school year. The Council members plan special fundraising events and a Middle School student assembly highlighting the organization.

5th and 6th Grade Service Club
Members of the 5th and 6th Grade Service Club identify a need in the community, design a service project and carry out that project. The group is led by an older Middle School student with a passion for service and experience in designing service projects. A faculty member supervises the group but the project is student-driven.

MS Summer Service Experiences Include:

Rising 8th Grade Summer Service Trip:
Rising 8th Grade students spend a week during the summer serving in an Appalachian community center, where they complete repairs and maintenance on homes and community facilities.

JUMP (Join Us Making Progress) Local Service Camp:
Rising 8th Grade students plan, organize and implement a week-long summer camp involving outdoor education, cooperative games, athletics, reading buddies and making healthy snacks. Middle School students mentor and work directly with children in the Richmond community.