Spartans of all ages know that compassion and empathy are essential to the Steward experience. Care and respect for others, and service to those in need, bring students together as they engage with the wider community.
Service learning is an educational approach that integrates curriculum and community needs through a cycle of action and reflection. This approach enhances real world learning through authentic connections and differs from a traditional community service model due to the intentional process of preparation and reflection. Service learning requires collaborative effort of students, teachers, administrators, community agencies and members to work together with deliberate thought and action toward a common purpose that has reciprocal benefits for all.
The purpose of service learning at Steward is for students to gain a deeper understanding of themselves by applying creativity, critical-thinking skills, and action toward authentic needs in our local (and global) communities with the hope of enacting positive change. We aim to embody Steward’s core values of honor, responsibility, achievement, care, and respect of self and others to become lifelong stewards, learning from and serving in our communities.
Research shows that students involved in service learning are more likely to pursue service professions in government, medicine, education, non-profit leadership, and more.
Civic engagement - promoting the quality of life in a community through political and nonpolitical processes; working to make a difference in the civic (city) life of one’s community. This may include volunteering, service learning, or national service.
Community service - the action of helping or doing work for someone within a community.
Community engagement - long-term involvement with our community to provide access to a greater range of solutions.
Justice - the quality of being morally right or fair.
Purpose - the intention, aim, or reason for which something is done or exists.
Service Learning - educational approach that integrates curriculum and authentic community needs through a cycle of action and reflection.
Stewardship - careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.
As many of us discover throughout life’s journey, it’s not always what you know, but who you know. Learning is about connections, and service learning is no different. Projects that connect to real people, creatures, or community are vital for deep learning to occur. Steward prides itself on vast connections within metro Richmond and beyond, as well as teachers who are committed to long-term change in our society.
Our goal is to have long-term community partners for every grade level to provide meaningful experiences that shape potential careers and aspirations and enhance students’ preparation for life outside of Steward.