Tell me, and I'll forget.
Show me, and I may remember.
Involve me, and I'll understand.
- A Native American Proverb
The service learning program at Lower School strives to engage students in age appropriate, hands-on service projects. The projects are embedded in grade-specific curricula and mainly serve Lower School’s core community service partners (Martha’s Table, Bethesda Cares, and A Wider Circle). In keeping with Quaker tradition, service is an integral aspect of the Lower School education. The goal to introduce young children to create partnerships with the local community in a safe and non-threatening manner that will encourage long term "habits of involvement" for our students. Teachers integrate service learning discussions and activities into the school week and parents contribute their time to support the teacher's plans and efforts.
The service program is comprised of in-class experiences, such as weekly vegetable chopping for Martha’s Table and helping to sustain the SFS campus recycling and composting efforts. Each grade level chooses a focus for the year that is age appropriate and grows out of some aspect of the classroom curriculum. This way, Lower School students have the opportunity to volunteer their time and energy in a meaningful way, and gain experience with a variety of service experiences during their years in this division of the school. Community-based service learning at Sidwell Friends Lower School is a wonderful tradition and is a part of the school identity and culture.