In keeping with Burgundy’s mission, students at every grade level learn about the importance of service.
Community service and service learning at Burgundy grows from our mission. These hands-on activities, instills respect for diversity, and teaches responsibility for self, for others, and for the natural world. Especially during Middle School, community service opportunities are often shared with parents, creating memorable and meaningful inter-generational experiences. One of the central and explicit goals of progressive education is to prepare students for their eventual roles as intelligent and contributing members of the American democracy. Service within Burgundy’s curriculum and on its campuses help students understand their place in each of their communities: home, school, country and the world.
We introduce to students in all grades developmentally appropriate ways they can serve their communities. We have collected and distributed food and clothing, helped with literacy campaigns, collected and prepare bikes for transport, served in community- and nation-wide service days, and more.
In Early Childhood classrooms, students live by the rule: Take care of yourself, each other and the world. Daily routines include caring for each person’s physical and emotional well-being, as well as caring for the Alexandria campus through recycling, composting, and picking up after ourselves. These concepts help students understand their role in the community and empower them to become active participants in service projects in later grades.
In elementary grades, students coordinate with community organizations on projects that support area animal shelters and homeless shelters and partner with the elderly at a local retirement community. Students also continue and expand on daily jobs that put conservation and environmental stewardship into practice.
Service became a formal part of the Middle School curriculum almost 20 years ago, when the Middle School instituted a service requirement. Middle School students are asked to volunteer for a minimum of 10 hours toward serving individuals or organizations in need or in doing environmental work. In addition to coordinating a variety of communal service projects, Middle School teachers help students explore their passions and learn how their strong interests in sports, arts, world affairs and more can lead to opportunities to be of service to others.