Service Learning

Service Learning

…the most important feeling that we were all left with was one of having worked hard for our community. There was work that needed to be done and there was a community appreciative of our efforts. This left all of us with a sense of satisfaction that our work had contributed to the beauty, health, and forward movement of our community."

Service Learning is deeply integrated into Harbor School culture. By recognizing needs in the community, addressing those needs, and reflecting on their experiences, Harbor School students develop and enhance compassion, responsibility, and leadership.

We emphasize service to the school, to the community, to the region and to the world. All Service Learning projects are interwoven with our curriculum, strengthening the philosophy that service is a part of daily life.

Examples of Service Learning in action: Every Fall, students take three days away from campus to learn more about issues facing our community and how they can help. Volunteering at the Vashon Food Bank leads to a foray in our garden. Volunteering at Northwest Harvest in Seattle the next day allows students to compare needs and resources on a rural island vs a large metropolitan city. Back in the classroom, students dive into Social Studies units on Food and Human Rights. They evaluate the history of farming practices, explore sustainable agriculture in America, and investigate Human Rights through case studies on a global scale.

Students Journey to Northwest Harvest and Help Package Peas for Distribution

Upper Elementary Beach Clean-Up
beach cleanup

Grades 4 & 5 study Puget Sound Marine Life. As part of their hands-on learning, they spend a day cleaning up our island beaches.

Planting Trees at Vashon Maury Island Land Trust
land trust pics

For many years, students have spent several days helping plant trees, clean trails, and more.

Visiting with Elders at Vashon Community Care
vcc visit

Since 2002, Harbor School students have been visiting Vashon Community Care, a non-profit retirement home and care facility, to share activities with our island elders. Several times during the school year, our students make the walk to VCC to play board games, sing holiday songs, or trick-or-treat during Halloween building connections with our elders.

VARSA Trash Clean-up
varsa cleanup

Students team with Vashon Alliance to Reduce Substance Abuse to pick up trash around our island. Their hands-on work helps keep our community vibrant and clean.

Students Tidy Trails and Overgrowth for Vashon Park District
park cleanup

As early as 2002, Harbor School students have been volunteering to tend to our island parks by removing blackberry bushes, clearing overgrowth, and grooming the land through the expert guidance of the park district staff.