During our Month of Gratitude (November), the High School held a Day of Service in which every student and faculty member participated in a service learning activity. Below are highlights of that day as relayed by Diana Garcia, Director of Student Life (High School).
What were the different community service projects that students participated in?
- Groceries for Seniors: Packed groceries for low income seniors
- San Bruno Mountain Watch: Trail and park space maintenance, including weeding and clearing an area for future San Bruno mountain botanical garden
- Rainbow World Fund (RFW): Helped prepare for the RFW annual World Tree of Hope at Grace Cathedral that includes thousands of paper origami filled with the hopes and wishes for the future. Students brought the tree out of storage and helped decorate it with the origami adornments.
- Las Americas Learning Center: Led arts, crafts, PE, reading, and math activities for second grade students.
- Presidio Stewards: Worked to restore and preserve the Presidio's natural areas through planting, watering, weeding and spreading mulch. Students also learned about the local plants and animals.
- Food Bank: Food Distribution set-up including pre-bagging food, and managing the flow of the Pop-Up Food Pantry in Bayview.
How did these projects/partnerships get established?
Many of these organizations are long-term partners of Sterne, and Groceries for Seniors in particular welcomes Sterne volunteers on a weekly basis. Las Americas is a personal connection as Ms. Garcia's sister is a teacher there and has always welcomed Sterne students to help with her group of students. Las Americans love having cool high school students visit!
What is the goal of Community Service at Sterne (high school)?
The goal of Community Service at Serne is to expose students to programs in the community where they can contribute their skills. We aim to offer a variety of opportunities that fit students strengths. Students that love the outdoors and doing hands-on activities will gravitate towards San Bruno Mountain or the Presidio. Students that enjoy working with others and meeting new people enjoy working with the Rainbow World Fund and the Food Bank or Groceries for Seniors. We also have students who love working with kids and get to serve as role models and activity leaders at Las Americas Learning Center. Sometimes a student doesn’t realize they have a skill until they are exposed to an activity during Service day. We are always looking for more opportunities and connections in our community for students to start exploring these skills.
Completing service hours is a high school requirement (10 hrs freshman year, 20 hours sophomore year, 40 hrs junior year) so this dedicated high school service day in November gives students the opportunity to check off some of those required hours.
What is a highlight of the Community Service Day?
Each group reported positive feedback about their service day experience. Garcia shared that students in her Las Americas group led a variety of games for the second-grade class including tag, red light green light and sharks versus minnows. "It was great to see our high school students step up as leaders while working with this group of elementary school students."