Community Service Learning (CSL) at Nueva
Community service learning is an integral part of a Nueva education, woven into curricula and given special focus through community service learning days, student council initiatives, guest speakers, Recital and Quest Projects, Design Engineering courses, and service courses.
As part of its mission, Nueva values service learning as instrumental for community development and for experiential learning. As students learn by doing and learn by caring, they
• Cultivate an increased sense of self-efficacy by seeing they can impact real social challenges, problems, and needs
• Enhance problem-solving skills and abilities to work in teams
• Inspire in themselves and others civic engagement attitudes and behaviors
Through Community Service Learning Initiatives, Students:
• Increase awareness about the inequity of access
• Learn more about themselves through partnerships with others
• Develop a deep sense of empathy and understanding for our community and community members, and build lasting bonds with the community beyond Nueva
“My friends and I started a feminist club and raised money to buy feminine products for homeless shelters.”
In Middle School, advisories participate in community service learning trips about three times a year. Students volunteer at a variety of locations in San Francisco and in the greater Bay Area. Each student advisory decides as a group which organization or project they would like to support and then volunteers at a particular location. In the past, students have done everything from organizing bulletin boards for Fair Oaks Senior Center to packaging food at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank to picking up trash at Ocean Beach. Many advisories will elect to continue previous efforts, strengthening relationships with community organizations.
Student groups and individual students also work to support service organizations. For example, student council has raised funds to support the School Fund, an organization that supports children in developing nations who can't afford to go to school by giving them the education they deserve. In Eighth Grade Recital Projects, many students choose to support community service organizations. Nueva students are empowered to serve and make a lasting impact upon the greater community.
In Upper School, students begin by developing a deeper understanding of self and our relationship with a myriad local communities. Core classes push students to reflect upon our position in the community and how we can best contribute to meaningful causes. Nueva students learn how to be advocates for change, taking action to address real-world challenges.
The service learning representative on student council works to incorporate community service events throughout the school year. In the past, Nueva has hosted speakers, planned activities, and embarked on service learning field trips. Last year, students raised thousands of dollars to donate to Hurricane Harvey and California Wildfire relief and collected hundreds of pounds of food for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Additionally, courses and student-organized clubs work to address relevant issues such as homelessness and inequality within our Bay Area communities. Student-led community service endeavors continue to expand as we reach out to our community and learn how to best serve.