Students in St. Margaret’s Upper School and Early Childhood School came together in one of the school’s most innovative spaces with one shared goal—to serve others.
The cross-divisional connection came after grade 9 students in Janice Avalone’s advisory designated Friendship Shelter
in Laguna Beach as its yearlong service-learning partner. As part of that partnership, Dr. Avalone’s advisory prepares meals to be delivered to the shelter and distributed to the community throughout the school year.
Early Childhood School Director Cris Lozon heard about the advisory’s partnership and offered the division’s Demonstration Lab, an innovative classroom with a full kitchen, for the grade 9 students to prepare their meal.
“By using the Demonstration Lab, we were able to include the Early Childhood School students in the preparation process,” said Dr. Avalone, also one of St. Margaret’s all-school counselors.
The Upper School and Early School students from Hope Petrozzi's homeroom worked together on safely preparing the meal for Friendship Shelter—a meal consisting of lasagna and snickerdoodle cookies. They will join two more times this school year in the Demonstration Lab to prepare meals for the organization.
“We are always so happy to see Upper School students visiting the Early Childhood School to interact and serve,” Early Childhood School Director Cris Lozon said. “Our young scholars look forward to having the ‘big kids’ visiting, and the Upper School students serve as great models of St. Margaret’s core values to our youngest Tartans.”
Dr. Avalone’s advisory was not the only Upper School students serving in the Early School. The grade 10 advisory of world languages teacher Geovanna Besikof has designated the Early Childhood School as their service partner, where they will work on maintaining St. Margaret’s Garden and interacting with the younger students in the Outdoor Classroom.
Upper School advisories develop yearlong partnerships
with organizations in which they serve authentic needs and help the community in a myriad of ways. The advisories work with their service-learning partners during the Upper School’s Service Learning and Innovation block, which is built into the schedule every third Wednesday. Other organizations partnering with the Upper School this year includes the Infant Pantry,
The Ecology Center, Family Assistance Ministries, Casa de Amma, Special Camp and more.