Each year, each Lower School classroom participates in a citizenship project through service learning. Some classrooms sprinkle their projects across the year and some classrooms commit to a month or two of service. This month happens to launch a number of projects in grades across the school, so it seemed appropriate to give an overview of several of the projects already in place this year.
For the past couple years, the JK-K students have participated in a teddy bear drive and make their donations to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. Teachers collaborate with Bears for Humanity, a local organization that donates an organic and fair-trade teddy bear to a child in need with every purchase. Join us at this Friday's morning meeting when the JK&K team will launch this year's donation drive.
First Graders visit one of our communities local assisted living facilities, AgeSong University. Students spend time getting to know some of the residents and learn more about what it was like for the residents to grow up in a different time and what school was like for them. Students also play classic games to bring more ease in their interactions and allow for more time and enjoyment in spending time together. The connection the children make with the local elders as well as the information learned from them is priceless.
While learning about communities, citizenship, and San Francisco, the second grade team partnered with with Lave Mae. Lava Mae brings critical services to the streets – delivered with an unexpected level of care we call Radical Hospitality – to rekindle dignity and hope for people experiencing homelessness through our Mobile Hygiene Service and Pop-Up Care Villages. Lava Mae is founded by Donice Sandoval, a previous AVS parent. She and her team have repurposed Muni buses with individual showers and personal hygiene areas, serving SF homeless population. AVS second-grade classes collect travel and hotel toiletries to create hygiene kits with personal and uplifting messages for Lava Mae. Classroom discussions focus on helping others and supporting our local community.