SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Independent School (SIS) is excited to share more information about their new program for students in Grades 5-8 – SIS CARES (Real World Community and Experiences for Students).
SIS CARES will provide students with more service learning opportunities than ever before. Teaching students that caring for others outside of the school community allows them to see that they have the ability to use “critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork” to make a bigger difference ladder. The goals of SIS CARES are to enable students to learn more about the Saratoga community, gain experience working with different organizations, find out about the resources available to help people in different situations and create the skills necessary to be an active citizen in their community. .
In September, SIS invited representatives from five local service organizations to attend a community day. Representatives were from the Franklin Community Center, Saratoga Bridges, Saratoga Children’s Museum, Saratoga Senior Center, and SNACpack. The students spent time learning about each organization and decided where they would like to volunteer.
On October 28, the students made the first of three trips to the organization for a day of service. Projects ranged from organizing food donations, gardening and field work, creating educational kits, interacting with consumers, and more.
“We were thrilled to have such an energetic and creative group of students from Independent Saratoga School,” said Mary Beth McGarrahan, director of development at the Franklin Community Center. “They assisted our staff in the daily sorting and organization of merchandise, food and products received. During this task, they learned which items are most urgent and that the “pantry” does not only provide food for members of our community. I am very grateful to be a part of this program and to be able to offer the experience of volunteering in a community organization. It is certainly the one these students will remember for years to come.
“My reaction to this service project was wow! Look at all this food! It was really surprising how much food was needed to feed these kids who are not as fortunate as the rest, ”said Grade 7 student Chloe after her volunteer experience with SNACpack. “I hope more people get involved in a cause like this because I think it is important for people to know and understand that not everyone can open their pantry and be able to have a snack. . “
After each volunteering session, students will have the opportunity to reflect on their experience in their digital journal, and at the end of the year, students will put together a final project to share their experiences with the rest of the school. Grade 8 students will also be required to complete a wrap-up project to highlight their four years of volunteer experience.
SIS CARES is the newest addition to the wide range of inclusive programs for Grades 5-8 students at Saratoga Independent School. For more information, please visit www.siskids.org/student-life/community-service.cfm.