St. Margaret’s Partners With OC Head Start for Meaningful All-School Service Learning Project

The annual springtime activity brings the school community together around a shared purpose in service to the local community.
For most of the month of March, St. Margaret’s students were engaged in the All-School Service Learning Project—an annual springtime activity that brings the school community together around a shared purpose in service to the local community.
This year, the school partnered with Orange County Head Start, an organization that serves more than 2,300 children ages zero to five to provide “a comprehensive child development program designed to meet the educational emotional, social, health and nutritional needs of children and families.” 
Before the start of the All-School Service Learning Project in February, school leaders met with OC Head Start to assess the authentic needs of organization’s two San Juan Capistrano centers.
“After meeting with the Head Start leaders, we learned that having a garden at each site would be a new, impactful and hands-on way to teach their students about the earth, life cycles and healthy eating,” Upper School junior Emma Kim said at last week’s All-School Spring Service.
With the goal to build a garden at each Head Start location and provide supplies and learning resources to go along with it, St. Margaret’s students went to work. Early School and Middle School students came together in early March to read a book about gardening and plant seedlings that would be given to each Head Start student. Later in the month, Lower School and Upper School students joined to learn more about OC Head Start and plant seedlings of different fruits and vegetables that would be put in the new gardens. 
There were also several direct connections with OC Head Start. Leaders from the organization visited St. Margaret’s to learn more about the school’s garden and the learning opportunities, as well as work out details on the garden builds. In addition, two Upper School advisories visited each Head Start location multiple times to serve the organization and assess the future garden sites. St. Margaret’s also had Upper School advisories create bilingual plant identifiers and build the garden wagons.
Another component of the project was a donation drive, with the Lower School and Middle School leading the efforts. By the end of the project, families donated more than 180 items to help with Head Start’s garden curriculum—essential supplies such as kid-sized shovels, gloves, watering cans, seed packets, wagons, garden-related books for young children and more. 
The project concluded last week at the All-School Spring Service, when the details and results from the project were shared by Vivi B. in grade 5, Tayler Sant and grade 8 and Emma in grade 11. 
“As we have embarked on this journey, we have learned so much about communities,” Emma said. “We have learned the importance of early-childhood education and the impact it can have on a child for the rest of their life. We have also learned about Mother Earth, the gifts provided by the land, and how it is our responsibility to care for the only planet we will ever have.”
The new gardens will be built in the near future. As part of their service-learning block, multiple Upper School advisories will continue to visit the OC Head Start centers in San Juan Capistrano to help with the upkeep of the new gardens once they are built.
The All-School Service Learning Project was overseen by St. Margaret’s service-learning team, including Director of Equity and Inclusion Victor Cota, Directors of Community Life Lora Allison (Upper School), Kylie Middlebrook (Middle School) and Tupper Spring (Lower School), Early School Pedagogista Sonia Yoshizawa and administrative assistant Nina Miranda. 
The All-School Service Learning Project is an opportunity to embrace St. Margaret’s Episcopal identity and live out the school’s mission to educate the hearts and minds of young people for lives of learning, leadership and service. Past partners in the All-School Service Learning project include the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church’s Infant Pantry, Family Assistance Ministries and The Ecology Center.
Translation? ¿Traducción? 翻译?:

An Independent Preschool Through Grade 12 College-Preparatory Day School in Orange County California

Non-Discrimination Policy
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.