In February, walking through the halls of Aspen Academy, you would have seen giant cardboard boxes decorated outside classrooms, overflowing with items identified for our annual community service project. This year’s partner, Packs of Hope, provides backpacks filled with essential clothing items to children and youth who are transitioning into out-of-home or foster care. The organization serves 8 counties in 10 locations, delivering more than 300 packs a month to children ages newborn to 18 years-old.
Every grade will have the opportunity to take part in an effective service-learning project that meets an authentic need in their community. Our students develop strong decision-making and problem-solving capabilities within the project that fosters a sense of ownership. Aspen Academy students are involved with the following service learning experiences:
GRADE LEVEL SERVICE PROJECTS
Pre-K focuses on kindness and complete many projects throughout the year. They organize a time to pick up litter around the school, make bird feeders for the playground, make recyclable bags to help with ocean pollution and collect coats for Coats of Colorado, pajamas for the homeless and they make dog toys for the Dumb Friends League. They donate the collected money to the Dumb Friends League.
Kindergarten supports the work of 4-H. They team up with CSU extension office to learn about the chicken life cycle and they bring in eggs in for the students to observe the process of chickens hatching. They donate collected money to the CSU 4-H department.
1st Grade visits the Cherry Hills Assisted Living center. They sing holiday carols and play games with them. The students also makes cards for the residents and send them to them. First grade also made birthday cards They develop unique relationships with another generation while learning about our nation’s history. They donate collected money to Bessie’s Hope Organization.
2nd Grade researches water consumption in Colorado, studies the implications of clean, safe water not being accessible to everyone, and determines possible solutions. They donate collected money to Conservation Colorado.
3rd Grade monitors our trash/recycling/compost program, and investigates innovative ways to make our school more eco-friendly. They create presentations and educate students at Aspen on this topic. They donate collected money to the GrowHaus.
4th Grade researches, design, create and maintain a schoolyard habitat and determine how Aspen’s habitat can serve the local wildlife. They go to Hudson Gardens to learn more and participate in the backyard bird count in their community. They donate collected money to the Audubon Society.
5th Grade delves into our community’s relationship with animals, both past and present, and execute student-led initiatives that address real animal needs. They participated with the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley. They dove into this work further by learning about service dogs through Canine Companions.
6th Grade focuses on helping the homeless by creating educational pamphlets about resources to hand out to the homeless and they collected collected clothes for ARC Thrift stores.
7th Grade teams up with Valor Bridge to recognize the different branches of the military. They also host a Veteran’s breakfast at Aspen Academy. They visit the VA hospital to sing carols, deliver cards they made for them and thank them for their service. They donate collected money to Valor Bridge.
8th Grade students research socially responsible business practices and often integrate a community non-profit as beneficiary for their 8th Grade businesses. Students will study businesses and workers in nations all over the world and learn how working conditions affect quality of life. They team up with Coda Coffee in BSE and visited Fair Trade farms on their trip to Costa Rica.
We thank the health care professionals in the Aspen Academy and larger community for their expertise, dedication and tireless work in tending to the sick and those in need of support. You are our heroes.
Since 2012, the State of Colorado has welcomed 18 statewide educational institutions to the coveted status of “Green Ribbon School.” The award, issued as part of the US Department of Education, honors America’s public and private elementary, middle and high schools for their efforts toward improving student health and achievement and reducing their environmental impact