Beyond the Classroom

Service Learning

"Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich students’ learning experience, to teach civic responsibility, and to strengthen communities." - National Service Learning Clearinghouse

Our Program

The Early Childhood and the Elementary Program at PCDS incorporates service learning within their grade-level curriculum.  For example, the Jr. Kindergarteners visit the Park City Senior Center to sing holiday songs they have learned within class bringing happiness and companionship to the seniors; the second graders use their letter writing skills to send letters to U.S. troops abroad in support of their dedication and services and our 3rd grade supports our adopted Navajo Native Elder and family.

The Middle School Program provides students with cross-grade level opportunities to partner with local area non-profits to participation in year-long activities that engage students in providing service in the context of the authentic application of academic skills and/or knowledge.  These partnerships help our students and families contribute in meaningful ways to the larger Park City and Summit County communities while gaining valuable hands-on learning experiences in the real world.

Service Within the School Community

2nd Grade "Jack-O-Lantern Jog" Fun Run:
2nd grade students planned a community fun run for the students at PCDS in October, hoping to inspire kids to be active and realize the importance of physical activity to their health and happiness.  They designed and assembled a fall-themed race course on campus that included distance running, negotiation of play structures and fun physical obstacles and then cheered on the participants from age 3 to 13!

Service Within the Park City Community

Summit Land Conservancy:
Middle school students will have an opportunity to take a leadership role within their community by partnering with the Land Conservancy on efforts to raise awareness about and the importance of preserving Open Space in our community.  Past projects have included a photo book juxtaposing open space with high-density development throughout the Park City Area paired with student photographers' statements regarding the value of open space to themselves personally as well as their home community of Park City. 
Other Local Non-Profits with which our students ave partnered include:  The National Ability Center, The Hope Alliance, KPCW Radio, and Friends of Animals of Utah. 

Service for Our Nation and Others

Adopt-a-Native Elder Program
Both Kindergarten and Third Grade study about the Native Americans of the United States. This study includes learning about the history and culture of the Navajo People. To tie this curriculum to service learning, Kindergarteners and Third Graders lead a school-wide adoption of Ruth Benally, a Navajo Grandmother.
Letters to the U.S. Troops
Within the Second Grade social studies curriculum, students learn the history and significance behind the United States flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem.  With this knowledge, the students practice their letter writing skills to let the U.S. Troops know that students at PCDS support them and are thinking of them. 

Service learning at PCDS allows students' opportunities to:

  • Improve leadership skills
  • Make a positive difference in the community
  • Meet new people in the community and gain first-hand experience of diverse life situations
  • Apply knowledge, skills, and talents gained in school to create a positive impact on the members of the larger community
  • Explore possible career opportunities and gain hands-on experiences