We want to teach our students how to be global thinkers. What better way to start than in our own community? Students at The Cushman School are encouraged to participate in a variety of programs that help enrich the lives of others both in our local community and worldwide. Some of the following are ways in which students make a difference.
Student Council/Student Government:
The Elementary Student Council and Middle School Student Government Council (SGA) are one of many ways school life reflects the values of The Cushman School. Student Council and SGA provide kids with an opportunity to make a difference. Eligible students in grades four through eight have an opportunity to provide leadership on campus by organizing and running special school events and projects. Some projects are traditionally woven into the council such as:
- Annual Food Drive
- Book Drive
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Pennies for Patients
- Red Ribbon Week
- Veteran’s Day Poppy Sales
- St. Jude’s Hospital Math-A-Thon
- Douglas Gardens class visits
- Make-A-Wish Foundation Talent Show
- Ronald McDonald House
- America’s Moms For Soldiers and Spirit Week.
Other projects evolve from the students themselves in response to a specific need or proposal that the council and its members may have. These projects include:
- Lotus House baskets
- Haiti Disaster Relief
- Metro Zoo Orangutan adoption
- Ice Cream Parlor of Miami Children’s Hospital
- Cookie Care Packages for overseas troops.
The Student Council and SGA programs are committed to linking character education to service learning opportunities, and providing students with skills of leadership, citizenship, and stewardship. Student Council and SGA eligibility is determined through a monthly evaluation of the student in the areas of Industry, Courtesy, and Responsibility. During the fall and spring semesters, the Student Council and SGA selects its governing officers (president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer) through an election process.
Adopt a Grandparent at the Jewish Home for the Aged at Douglas Gardens:
Once a month, a Cushman class visits the residents at the Jewish Home for the Aged at Douglas Gardens. The students sing, play games, visit and assist in serving refreshments to the residents. The intergenerational activities create empathy, understanding and appreciation of diversity in our students. We are both the givers and the recipients of many “gifts” from the residents.
Service Learning in the Middle School
Service learning connects school-based curriculum with the inherent caring and concern young people have for their world, whether on their school campus, at a local food bank, or in a distant rainforest. The results are memorable, lifelong lessons for students to foster a stronger society for us all.
Service learning differs from other forms of community service or volunteer work because the education of students and young people is always at its core. Students are actively participating in the process of understanding, integrating, and applying knowledge from various subject areas as they work to improve their communities. We at The Cushman Middle School feel this is an important habit to cultivate. Cushman encourages a spirit of service among its students through participation in Student Government, Cushman Cares Projects, food drives, community service days, Ronald McDonald service dinners, America’s Moms for Soldiers, and various other activities in conjunction with our diverse Service learning themes.
In a two year rotation, our students research and discover opportunities and issues centered around global and community issues.
Community Learning Partnership (CLP)
The Community Learning Partnership (CLP) is a consortium of educational institutions and community organizations in the Miami Shores area committed to sharing resources regarding common goals and interests. Through this combined effort, the partnership will enhance the quality of our programming, projects and events and will develop and implement initiatives to benefit the community as a whole.
- The CLP’s purpose is to provide a forum for sharing projects and events in an effort to support each other’s activities and partner where possible.
- Reducing costs for programmatic activities is important at this time given the revenue issues that many of our private and public schools are facing.
- These schools and organizations, with their university partner, hope to create greater civic engagement in common activities and events as well as highlight what each institution is offering.
- This project will be used as a prototype and model for other communities seeking to create civic engagement through partnership projects.
- We will work to create shared experiences that help strengthen a sense of community among all our schools and community members
Common Institutional Interests
- Community outreach and service to others
- Teacher training and professional development of faculty/staff/board members
- Developing the “citizenship skills” of our students and community members
- Public recognition for educational excellence
- Non- academic supportive programming for students: Wellness, Drug/Alcohol Awareness and prevention, Sex Education, Safety, etc.
- Creating awareness on nationally important topics: Sustainability, Recycling, Diversity, etc.
- Attracting resources
- Mentoring/Internships/Career exploration
- Global Awareness