Community Service Committee
At PS 29, service learning is believed to have tremendous value in teaching our students that the world is bigger than themselves and their immediate community. Our commitment to service learning is aligned with our Code for Living –integrity, responsibility, respect, and empathy. It is our hope to guide students through a process of acknowledging that there are many forms of inequity in the world and inspire them to feel that they have the power to combat these inequities with knowledge and action.
Our goal at PS 29 is for our students’ service learning process to be hands-on and as close to the heart of the issues as possible in order to understand the perspectives of others and deepen their experience with empathy. We have grade specific projects as well as school-wide initiatives.
School-wide, we have a host of service efforts throughout the year. We have service embedded in our work of the Green Team among which includes the daily recycling and sustainability work of these students. Our Peer Mediators and Lunch Helpers support our students with conflict resolution every day. Earth Day Work Day in the PS 29 Garden also often features a school-wide collection such as for ChiPs, a nearby shelter in Park Slope. In the past, we have collected supplies to send to victims of natural disasters both locally and nationally.
Below lists the work by grade. Each grade has developed a goal to engage in service projects that connects to our curriculum or content and/or partner with outside organizations to effect change.
Kindergarten: As young as kindergarten, our students collect books for Project Cicero to support other school and community libraries across our city. Our kindergarteners helped to collect, sort, categorize, and pack these books that are delivered to communities in need. This also connects to our kindergarteners’ school study in social studies in which they’re learning about members of a school and their roles within the community, as well as how schools can support other school communities outside their own.
First grade: In 1st grade, our students collect canned food in conjunction with City Harvest as well as supporting our school wide coat drive during the December holidays. In addition, our 1st graders collaborate with Conover House in Red Hook to organize a toy drive for children affected by HIV and AIDS. This work is connected with their social studies curriculum around the study of family. At this time in the year, our students are also learning about different families’ needs versus wants, which goes hand in hand with the service learning process.
Second grade: In 2nd grade, our students work with an organization called Heights & Hills that train our students in the types of skills needed to work with and support the elderly. They learn about the aging process and how compassion and patience are integral to service work with the aging community. Our 2nd graders have been following up by visiting the Cobble Hill Health Center, a nursing home down the street, where they have been presenting artwork, singing songs, and reading books with the residents.
Third grade: In 3rd grade, tied in with the study of Africa and South America in social studies & current collaboration with Brooklyn Academy of Music around African dance and drumming, each classroom “adopts” an endangered animal from these regions and work with various outside organizations such as Wildlife Fund to support this work. Through research and presentation, our students share their knowledge and potential action items with our school community at annual events including our Earth Day Work Day in the PS 29 Garden.
Fourth grade: In 4th grade, we work closely with a cohort of what has become 70 schools across the city in a program called STAR. As part of this program, we have been collecting over 30 boxes of items each year to be added to shipping containers that are sent to Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, Bangladesh, and Yemen. - watch this video here for more information: https://youtu.be/JbP8ZajZdRY . This works ties in with their study on immigration.
Additionally, our 4th graders are working with the Service Learning Project (SLP), an organization that guides our students through 5 phases of project work, each of which is student driven. Each class selects an issue (e.g., homelessness, etc.) and research and creates an action plan to address the selected issue.
Fifth grade: In 5th grade, while service can be much broader (as experienced in 4th grade and in other years), it also does start “at home.” Teachers and staff work closely with different 5th grade classrooms to focus on a school-specific area or need and engage in hands-on problem-solving to address the issue through service.
Teacher Chairs: Emma Fitzpatrick + Monica Salazar-Austin Parent Chair: Aimee Aiken
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!