Bozeman Summit School considers “service learning” a necessary part of its curriculum, especially for the Upper Elementary students (though not limited to them). These 4th, 5th and 6th grade students are entering a critical period of development which brings a growing sense of membership in society. With that comes an innate need to give to society. Service learning is a method of teaching in which students (a) identify a community with needs (b) participate in an organized service activity that meets community’s needs, and (c) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding about the community and one’s self. BSS has participated and partnered with: The Gallatin Valley Food Bank, Bozeman’s Pond and Trail Clean-up, senior homes, Pennies for Peace, Tsunami relief, Hope for Haiti, letters and care packages for American troops, letters to veterans, The Salvation Army, Heifer International, KIVA (a micro-lending institution for third world countries), Quarters for Kom Kids, Soles 4 Souls, and The Heart of the Valley Humane Society.
With the second phase of the natural playground/outdoor classroom on the horizon, we are extremely excited about the implantation of gardens and combining those efforts with our community. We envision a “farm to community” program where our children will delve deeper into their biology curriculum with the gardens, harvesting vegetables and donating them to area food banks, soup kitchens, Meals on Wheels, etc.