A big part of creating world-class talent at Laurel Mountain is teaching our students about the importance of helping our community. We accomplish this by making service learning and community service a part of what we do in our classrooms and during enrichment clusters. An example of service learning in the classroom is when a class decides they want to have a food drive to help the hungry in the Austin community, after discussing problems our community faces during Social Studies. An example of community service in an enrichment cluster is our current 4th and 5th grade enrichment cluster, "Mission Kindness". They currently working on spreading small acts of kindness throughout the school.
Another example of community service is part of what our 3rd graders do every year during Halloween. The third graders learn about the non-profit organization UNICEF (The United Nations Children's Fund) and about how UNICEF helps kids from around the world. Every year, UNICEF has a fundraiser campaign during Halloween where the students can decide to ask neighbors for spare change as they are trick-or-treating. This year, our Laurel Mountain third graders collected $649.01. WOW!!!!
According to the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF website (http://www.unicefusa.org/mission/usa/trick-or-treat), it costs only $1 to give a child clean water for 40 days. It costs $10 to vaccinate 280 children. It costs $500 to install a water pump for a whole village. So imagine what UNICEF will be able to do with the money our students collected.
Laurel Mountain's mission statement says, "A school for talent development where everyone is a learner, teacher, decision-maker, and contributor." Teaching our students the importance of helping, not only the community around us, but the world around us shows our children that they can contribute to making the world a better place. And as a teacher AND a parent, I cannot think of a better lesson for my child to learn.