At The GreenMount School we believe that service to others is an important way to help students thrive in different environments as stated in our philosophy. Service learning helps students learn more about themselves and the community in which they live. We believe that every student has a responsibility to understand more about where we live and to help make others' lives better. We provide opportunities and real life experiences by serving the local, national, and international communities.
In grades K-6 students discuss issues in our neighborhoods, city, state, and country. Students create projects with their teachers to demonstrate ways to improve lives and circumstances. One example would be collecting donations for soup kitchens or food banks. Students may adopt a family during the holiday season or collect pencils and paper to send to a school that experienced a natural disaster.
In 7th and 8th grade our Service Learning class examines the issues of social justice. Students acquire a deeper understanding of issues like inequality of education, hunger, poverty, and homelessness. We not only explore these issues in the needed depth, but create ways that one person can be helpful in becoming part of the solution. The class leads its own service projects that include the whole school in an age appropriate way. The GreenMount School has created partnerships with local institutions including: Paul's Place, The Maryland Food Bank, Keswick Multi Care Center, and the Youth Service Opportunity Project (YSOP). Our students work in these places every year. At YSOP we even take a two day overnight trip to learn directly and firsthand about homelessness and poverty in Washington, D.C. Service learning is also incorporated into our 8th grade international trip to Costa Rica. Here students and village leaders in Arroyo, Costa Rica determine from year to year how our students can serve the needs of this small mountain village.
At GreenMount we believe that community service and service learning are important vehicles for our students' understanding of their role in the world as problem solvers and as those whose legacy will be to improve the lives of others.
One cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening their own.