Inspiring a Lifetime of Ready, Willing, and Able
Addressing the needs and learning of the “whole child” means that we extend the programs we create beyond history, math facts, reading fluency, and the scientific method. We must teach each student how to see a broader world, and how to identify and solve problems in the world for which they will one day be responsible. The concept of service to others is fundamental to a CA education. From Pre-Kindergarten through Upper School, students participate in various service projects to develop social responsibility, perspective, and sensitivity to the world around them.
Over the course of their high school careers, students at CA can enter service learning through a variety of avenues. Projects can be initiated by students, faculty, and community members. Opportunities offered through the school include: cross divisional projects, such as reading with 1st graders; campus based service, such as working in the dining hall or with the operations staff; international service through the global travel program; student-driven service clubs such as the Children’s Hospital Club, AfricAid, and the Haiti Club; course or sports based service, such as an oral-history project with local senior centers, Spanish classes working with participants in the Horizons programs, and athletic teams organizing food drives. One of CA’s signature service learning programs, Student HOPE (Helping Other People Eat), has worked for over 20 years to bring low-income families from around Denver to campus for a hot meal, clothing, visits with Santa Claus, gifts, and health checks. Service opportunities at CA culminate in the senior year with the Community Impact Project, through which every senior identifies an individual passion and then designs and implements a project that addresses a need in the community beyond Colorado Academy.
The Middle School encourages students to contribute to their school, local, and international communities through the practice of service learning and advocacy. Students develop skills associated with organizing, planning, and executing service projects. As children mature, increasing choice is given to students in selecting the type of projects that interest them. Our hope is that children develop important life skills and that they are empowered by the many ways young people can contribute to building healthy communities.
The way we begin with young children is to help them understand is that the world is filled with uniqueness and difference and to empower them to create change. Giving a voice to the needs of others, children come to understand how they can make an enormous impact. These are the roots of empathy, compassion, gratitude, and cultural competence based within a framework of experiences they know.