Foothills approaches Service Learning in a way that is specifically designed to meet curriculum goals and be an important part of classroom learning. Projects can last from one week to six weeks, depending on depth and breadth of goals. While the focus is for students to meet academic goals, there are other benefits of involvement in service learning:
● Personal development. Students have improved self-image, more confidence, and a sense of control over their learning.
● Social and interpersonal development. Students learn how to interact with a variety of different people and learn how to complete projects focused on "giving back."
● Values development. Students learn how to function as part of a group and they develop a sense of social responsibility – a core component of our school’s mission.
● Career Development. Students see a range of jobs available and gain skills and knowledge about the work world. One student who is serving in a third grade reading class in a local low-income school commented, “I really like working with little kids to help them read. I think I am pretty good at it, too.”
Each class plans at least one Service Learning project each year. Projects have ranged from Early Learners collecting canned food for the Idaho Food Bank to the 7th and 8th grade's multi-layered project involving each student participating in a six-week unit Tuesday afternoons, and assisting at one of the following locations: Ronald McDonald House - doing chores and cooking for visiting families; the Boise Rescue Mission - assisting with various tasks and chores that need attention; Lowell Elementary School - buddy reading and assisting with student projects; or Create Common Good - assisting recently immigrated adults with English language acquisition.