At The Colorado Springs School, we value being a part of the city of Colorado Springs. Our goal is to foster real connections between our students and the people, communities, and organizations of the Pikes Peak region. To that end, we commit to investing time, energy, and good will to benefitting the people of our city and region. In the short term, we hope to have small but useful and tangible effects on individuals, the community, and the environment of our area. In the longer term, we know that giving of one’s time and energy to others is a healthy habit that can be learned and likely will inform a lifetime of community-minded thought and action.
Each Children’s School class, K-5, participates in a Service Learning project that supports CSS and the surrounding community. PreK students pick up trash on the playground and around the stream that runs through the property. They also support the first grade book drive and the second grade food drive. Kindergarteners visit the Myron Stratton Home, where they participate in various activities with senior friends. First graders collect gently used and new books for the Head Start preschool program at Stratton Meadows Elementary School. They visit the preschool in the morning that the books are delivered and participate with students in that program. Second graders collect food for Care and Share. Students in third grade practice recycling around CSS, pick up trash on campus and visit the recycling center at the Garden of the Gods. The fourth graders visit senior friends every month at The Broadmoor Court Senior Living Center. They play games, share school projects and learn interviewing skills by interviewing their senior friends. Fifth graders combine their Independent Study project with developing awareness for a nonprofit cause, by donating time and money to assist that group.
All Middle School Students participate in at least three Service Learning days each school year. The 6th grade works with Venetucci Farm to help harvest, prepare for the next year’s planting, and sow seeds in the spring. Students gain an understanding and appreciation for the food production cycle. The 7th grade pairs with the CSS 2nd graders to devise, organize, and run educational activities within the 2nd grade curriculum. They gain an understanding and appreciation for working directly with other people, and they have an opportunity to strengthen their empathy and communication skills. The 8th grade works with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute at the Garden of the Gods on such things as habitat conservation and trail maintenance. They gain an appreciation for the natural landscape and manual labor while working as a large team to create very tangible outcomes.
All CSS Upper School students must meet a yearly graduation requirement of participating in a minimum of 24 hours of service learning. Students participate in a combination of an individual service project and the Service Day sponsored by the Upper School each semester. In the past, we have served such organizations as the local food bank, senior organizations, literacy projects, and environmental restoration and clean-up projects.
Each student is required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of qualifying service learning per year, and many exceed this minimum. Attending the two mandatory Upper School Service Days scheduled each year fulfills 12 of these hours. Doing approved campus service or service in the greater Colorado Springs community for 12 hours will generally fulfill the remaining hours. Service outside of school should be done in charitable agencies and must be supervised and certified by adults. Work around the house or for a family business does not qualify for service learning credit. The student may not receive any pay, credit, goods, or services in return for community service. Those who do not complete their service learning hours by that date will be assigned to complete double the unfulfilled hours for the following year, in addition to the next year’s required 24 hours.