"San Domenico - Where Caring is Common"
Visiting retirement communities, making healthy meals for people in need, and raising money for international relief efforts are just some of the ways in which San Domenico students in grades K-12 are making a difference in the world, while instilling a sense of purpose in themselves.
Visit to Aldersly Retirement Community
The Kindergarten class and some accompanying parents spent a morning in December at Aldersly Retirement Center.The students brought their favorite books to read and shared them with the residents. They also sang songs and shared treats, kindly provided by our Kindergarten parents.The Kindergarteners brought so much joy and connection to the elderly at Aldersly.
Buddy Sisters at Lourdes Convent (Retirement Community)
This Fall, each First Grader was paired all year with a "Buddy Sister" at Lourdes Convent, where there are several elderly Dominican Sisters in residence, many of whom have been teachers, administrators, or volunteers at SD and other schools over the years. These women embody our our rich Dominican heritage of study, reflection, service, and community.
In the Spring, the First Graders will be meeting their Buddy Sisters in person when we take a Service Learning trip to Lourdes. To promote connection in the meantime, the students have been making holiday cards for the sisters.
Most recently, they made Thanksgiving and Christmas cards with thoughtful notes and pictures. Each Christmas card was paired with some cozy socks and chocolate as a Christmas gifts from the First graders to their Buddy Sisters.
Sadly, the Sisters lost two of their own this Fall - Sister Jeremy and Sister Marie, so we hope the cards brought some comfort and cheer to Lourdes.
Homeward Bound Family Center
Making Meals for Families Facing Homelessness
Every year, the Fourth Grade goes in small groups throughout the year to make meals for the families at the Homeward Bound Family Center (FC). There are nine families who were previously facing homelessness, living at the FC and each family has one room to share. While at the FC, Homeward Bound provides support for the families to find permanent housing.
The students bring all the ingredients, and this year our menu was Caesar salad, Caprese skewers, zoodles and lasagnas (both veggie and meat) for the families living at the FC.
Most of the adults at the FC are single, working mothers with young children so having an easy, nutritious, tasty meal ready when they get everybody home makes life a little easier.Here are some photos of our November visit.
Raising Money for a Cause They Choose
Once again this year, the Fourth Graders held their annual Business Day.They are paired up in teams and tasked with creating mini businesses. From selling lotions and dog treats, to shoot-a-hoop, the class hosts the rest of the Lower School to raise money for charities they choose.So, not only do the students learn about being an entrepreneur, but they make thoughtful choices about how they can help make a difference.After careful deliberation this year, the class decided to donate the proceeds to the Marin Humane Society.
Fireside Apartments for Low Income Seniors & Families
Running a Food Pantry, Games and Breakfast
Throughout the year, each Fifth Grade Leadership Team will take a turn going on a Service Learning trip to Homeward Bound of Marin's Fireside Apartments for low-income seniors and families.
Homeward Bound of Marin is the county's primary provider of homeless shelters and services for the homeless.Fireside is one of the Homeward Bound facilities and provides permanent, affordable housing, and many other services for seniors facing homelessness.
At Fireside, the students manage the food pantry, which is fully stocked by the Marin Food Bank, for the elderly residents and families. Not only do the students sort and bag the food, but they also distribute and hand deliver it to the seniors, some of whom are housebound. To promote real connection, the students also bring breakfast for and play Bingo with the elderly residents.
As you can see from the pictures, it was a busy morning of service, connection, laughter, and fun.
Breakfast with Santa
Raising Money for a Cause They Choose
In early December, the Fifth Grade class hosted the annual Breakfast with Santa for the school community.Service Learning is a focal point of this project.The money raised by selling tickets to this special event, which includes a pancake breakfast, crafts, and musical performance, is donated to a worthy cause.The Fifth Grade class collaboratively decide who they would like to donate the proceeds to.Last year all of the proceeds (over $4,000.00) were donated to the Red Cross for North Bay fire victims.
DZi Project & Speaker
Every year, the Seventh Grade class works on a Service Learning project supporting the dZi Foundation's work to build schools and more in earthquake ravaged Nepal.Thismulti-year project stemmed from the Seventh Grade World Religions & Ethics class that examines Buddhism and the life of Buddha, inspiring a service learning project in Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha. Like the Buddha, whose road to enlightenment began only after he left his cloistered life, this experience has exposed students to a reality far removed from their own, offering new perspectives and insights.
The Nepal Earthquake & the dZi Foundation
After the devastating 7.8 earthquake in 2015, life across Nepal ground to a halt. The destruction included rudimentary stone school houses across the country, leaving millions of Nepalese children without a school to return to. The dZi Foundation has worked tirelessly in Nepal to help rebuild.One of its primary goals has been to rebuild schools by using materials that will ensure that they are fortified and earthquake resistant.
Earthquake Ravaged Stone School
New dZi Built School - Earthquake Safe Classrooms, Toilets and a Drinking Water System.
The SD Seventh Grade Project - Rebuilding the Sisu Secondary School in Maheshwori, Nepal
In the spirit of children helping children, the SD Seventh Graders adopted the Sisu Secondary School through the dZi Foundation.The students' goal, a multi-year project, is to raise awareness and $10,000.00 to rebuild the two-classroom Sisu Secondary School.
To reach their goal, the Seventh Graders created beautiful bracelets with dZi beads, which hold deep spiritual meaning throughout the Himalayan mountain range countries. It is believed the beads can bring luck, ward off evil, and protect the wearer from physical harm. The bracelets were recently given away at the MS holiday show and each bracelet included a student-written card, which detailed the meaning of the bead and significance of the project, both of which help raise awareness for earthquake ravaged Nepal. The cards shared the link for the dZi Foundation for those interested in learning more and possibly contributing.
Last years Seventh Graders raised $5000 of our $10,000 goal, and each year we are working toward closing the gap. After the school house is built, SD students will continue their connection to the Nepalese students by sending school supplies, letters, and pictures.
Middle School Service Learning Club
Here is a short video about all the projects the SLC worked on this fall.
Second Visit to Bello Gardens Retirement Home to Visit Senior "Buddies" with Puppies
The Service Club had an especially sweet visit with their Bello Buddies in December.Not only did they arrive with Christmas cards and cozy socks, but they also brought Jessica's Haven puppies to share.After all the connecting and puppy love happened, the club spontaneously set out to decorate Bello's bare Christmas tree and facility.
A letter from Bello Gardens Activity Coordinator
Thank you so much for arranging this visit with your students and Jessica's Haven! Your service club group is amazing, wonderfully caring and respectful. Our residents just lit up the entire time. How great to see! We cannot get over the San Domenico service club. Angels in our midst, seriously. The cards that they create for our residents are so creative and fun. The kids were excellent with the dogs today Our 100 yr old resident said it was one of her best times ever:) by the smiles on their faces, I can see that happened for all our residents who attended.
Presto, Change-o with our bare Christmas trees! Those worker bee Santa's elves left us with glowing trees, red ornaments with thanks from you, and the Christmas angel on top. If ok, I booked them for next year and after
The rest of the day, all were in such high spirits.
We are very fortunate to have San Domenico students this year and your outstanding leadership. See you in '19, if not before!
PS - Many accolades to the Moms that came today and helped out! Wow!!
Helping First Graders
The SLC spends time once a month in the First Grade classroom, helping their younger schoolmates work on their reading and writing.
Shopping Trip for Ritter Center Family
Marin Food Bank
Deepening the Connection - Food Bank Volunteer Days
This year, in addition to our All School Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Marin Food Bank, our school community came together to volunteer at the Food Bank on three different Saturdays.Students and families from Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School as well as faculty and staff comprised a total of 150 people volunteering 450 hours to sort and package food donations. Here is a short video about how we deepened our connection to between SD and the Food Bank this year: SD Supports the Marin Food Bank
Students from the Lower School who volunteered with their families on one of the Saturdays hosted a speaker from the Food Bank. They shared with the speaker and their classmates about their experience working at the Food Bank and what they learned about hunger in Marin.
Many of the Saturday volunteers were from the Middle School Service Learning Club and Student Council.These students showed up so they could learn more about the Food Bank and educate their classmates about their experience.
Students from the Upper School Social Justice Club provided a list of "Ethical Food Choices" to help people make nutritious and ethical choices about the food they contributed to the drive.
All School Thanksgiving Food Drive
It is an amazing experience to witness the entire student body, faculty, and staff come together to load the Food Bank trucks on the day the all school Food Drive ends.Over 30,000 pounds of food were collected by the Sweet Potatoes, World Peas, Pumpkin Pies, and Wishbones - SD teams across Grades K-12!.