St. Michael’s in the Community
Each year, the St. Michael’s community gets involved with various organizations in Rhode Island and around the globe. The students might raise money or food for these organizations. They host bake sales, dress down days, and even book sales to help the community. The concept of community service begins as early as the preschool. By lower school, students have started to work regularly with organizations such as the Martin Luther King Center, Lucy’s Hearth, St. Jude’s Hospital Math-A-Thon, Heiffer Project, and the Potter League.
Many community service initiatives begin with the Student Leadership Board (SLB). This organization made up of sixth through eighth grade volunteers, and headed by two faculty members, coordinates many of our school-wide community service efforts. At Thanksgiving and the holiday season, the students organize food and clothing drives as well as a collection for Christmas presents for the Martin Luther King Center and Ronald McDonald House. The SLB has held a trick-or-treat drive for UNICEF, raised money for a plaque at the new Potter League Animal Shelter, and sent books to Africa.
Here are few other ways our students take part in supporting our surrounding community.
Grade 3 supports the MLK Center
Each spring students learn about seeds and plants in science class and take this knowledge into our community garden. In the fall, when it’s time to harvest the crop, the students sell their goods to the SMCDS teachers. With this funding in hand, they donate to the Martin Luther King Community Center Food bank. The culmination of this project occurs when the MLK Center visits the school and the students learn how their hard work and donation can help benefit those in our community.
Grade 6 partnership with Clean Ocean Access
St. Michael’s is proud to partner with Clean Ocean Access to educate our community about plastics in our oceans and ways we can take action to create a healthy ocean, here on Aquidneck Island. Under the leadership of science teachers Mimi Carrellas and Lauren Magruder, the 6th grade has begun to research this environmental concern within their science curriculum. They presented these startling facts at the Middle School Monday morning meeting, and will continue to educate the community and offer specific steps that we can all take to do our part in improving the situation.
As part of this collaboration St. Michael’s has adopted Easton’s Beach (First Beach) and with this comes great responsibility. Staying in line with Clean Ocean’s Access’s vision to create “a healthy ocean that is free of marine debris with water that is safe for all ocean activities and a shoreline that is accessible to the public”, our 6th graders take part in monthly beach cleanup. They collect trash and analyze data based on their findings.
8th Grade Community Service Program
Before our students graduate from St. Michael’s, we feel that it is important that they first give back to the community that helped to get them this far in life. As a requirement, each eighth grader completes 20 hours of community service before June. This ranges from participating in walk-a-thons, to serving meals at soup kitchens, to working with younger students at the Martin Luther King Center.