Community Service in the Pre and Lower School
The Packer Collegiate Pre and Lower School community service projects are designed to focus on two major thrusts of the curriculum: the world and the neighborhood. Students and faculty work on a number of projects to increase understanding about the neighborhood and the people who live here while developing students’ understanding of their talents and abilities. Kindergarten students learn about growth and change and then contribute outgrown clothes, toys and books to Room To Grow. First grade students work with measurements as they prepare tasty treats for a neighborhood homeless shelter and senior center. Second graders design notes cards with bridge themes which they then sell to raise money for Partnership for the Homeless. Third and fourth grade students visit seniors at the Cobble Hill Health Center and share with them work they have done in class while learning about the lives of the seniors and developing friendships.
Since 2007 the Pre and Lower School has been building a relationship with the Ndonyo Wasin Primary School in northern Kenya. Ndonyo Wasin is a residential school which serves children from the nomadic Samburu people, whose way of life is becoming increasingly influenced and changed by modern society. Children in both schools have exchanged letters, videos, photos, drawings, and class-made books as they learn about each other’s lives and cultures. Packer students learn the Ndonyo Wasin school song, which the Kenyan students sing each morning at flag raising. Packer students have engagd in activities to raise money which supports building and educational efforts at Ndonyo Wasin. For three summers Packer teachers have traveled to Kenya to work side by side with their Kenyan colleagues.
Students in the Pre and Lower School participate in a number of Packer all-school drives during the year. They contribute food to the canned food drive for the First Presbyterian Church Food Pantry in the fall. They collect books for Project Cicero which provides books to public school libraries throughout the city. In the spring they contribute personal size toiletries to distribute to a variety of homeless shelters. As needs arise they help with any number of projects. In recent years they have contributed to relief efforts for the Gulf Coast and Haiti, and they have provided supplies to students in South Africa through ArtWorks for Youth.
In learning about their school neighborhood and the world, Packer Pre and Lower School students and their teachers Learn to Serve and Serve to Learn.