Service Learning: Elementary Schools

Students in Grade 6 are expected to complete and document 5 hours of service learning. Your school may ask students in other grades to also complete service learning projects. If you are completing a service learning project outside of school, use the service learning rubric and reflection to help you evaluate your project. Here are some ways elementary school students in Fairfax County are helping their community.

Elementary school students in Fairfax County are helping their community!               

Harvest Time! Centreville ES and Hollin Meadows ES

It’s fall, which means Harvest Time at many school gardens around the county. Fifth and sixth grade students at Centreville ES harvested over ten pounds of lettuce and two bags of other greens from their school’s garden to donate to the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter for homeless families. Check out the link to see more pictures of the students and their delicious produce.

gardening   students gardening

Head Start students at Hollin Meadows ES recently harvested 50 pounds of sweet potatoes from their school garden. Students learned about the different parts of the plant, what insects make their home in the garden, what a plant needs to grow, and how everyone in the Hollin Meadows community benefits from the school garden. There was a lot of excitement and “look what I found!” After harvesting the potatoes, the students weighed the potatoes to learn about measurement and comparison. The sweet potatoes will be roasted and shared with everyone at the school, so that they can learn to enjoy eating fresh, healthy vegetables. Coming up in November: lettuce, kale, and spinach.

young kids gardening   kid with potato

 Chalk4Peace at Waples Mill ES, Eagle View ES, and Forestdale ES

The mission of Chalk4Peace is to bring communities together to advocate for peace. Many schools hold a Chalk4Peace event in September and October as part of their celebration of the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2014. For example, over 100 3rd-6th graders participated in the event at Waples Mill ES on October 6, while at Eagle View ES, all 700 students participated during school from September 9-15, and at Forestdale ES, all grades participated on October 3. Over 100 Fairfax County public schools and SACC programs participate in the event, which supports character education and community service goals as well as the fine arts curriculum. Chalk4Peace encourages young people to start imagining, thinking, and talking about how they find peace in their lives and how they will be active participants in creating peace. Enjoy these pictures from participating students at Forestdale ES, Eagle View ES, and Waples Mill ES. You can also see a video that Forestdale made about last year’s event. To find out more about

Chalk4Peace, visit their website.

kid with parentchalkkids

group of students  kids with chalk

International Walk to School Day – Lake Anne ES, Hybla Valley ES, and Canterbury Woods ES

For the fourth year in a row, FCPS participated in International Walk to School Day on October 8, 2014. The day is celebrated as a way to promote physical activity while reducing traffic congestion and pollution. Students are encouraged to walk or bike to school or walk to their bus stops, and parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school and to work with their schools and PTAs or PTOs to gather in groups for the event. This year over 50 schools participated in the event. At Hybla Valley ES, many students already walk to school, so the school held several additional activities to help keep students safe during their walk. Younger students participated in an assembly with Otto the Auto (sponsored by the American Automobile Association) to learn about pedestrian safety, received a coloring page with pedestrian safety pictures, and completed a power walk around the school grounds. Older students received reflector stickers and learned safety terms with a Safe Routes to School word scramble challenge before their power walk. At Canterbury Woods ES, students who ride the bus were able to participate by getting dropped off a short distance from school so that they could walk the rest of the way. Check out the video to see the students in action. Lake Anne ES won the Reston area competition for having the highest percentage of students walking and biking to school – 54%! To support your school’s program, check out the FCPS Safe Routes to School website or contact Sally Smallwood, Safe Routes to School Coordinator.

kids biking  group of students 

Cherry Run ES

Nearly 20 5th grade girls from Girl Scout Troop 2664 worked together with preschool students at their school to learn about healthy eating. As part of a unit on “things that grow,” the preschool students harvested tomatoes from their garden, put them through a tomato press and added herbs to make pizza sauce. They grated cheese, made dough from scratch, and invited their parents to join them for pizza. The Girl Scouts watered the plants during the summer, read the children an ABC Vegetable Book they created, and sang a song they wrote called "T-T-T-Tomatoes!" The troop received a jar of the preschool students’ homemade pizza sauce in thanks for their efforts.

class   kid with tomatoes

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Service Learning Ideas

  • School wide "green" activities such as resource conservation and recycling
  • School or neighborhood cleanups
  • Food, clothing, book, bicycle, or toy drives
  • Peer tutoring
  • Peer mediation
  • Holiday greetings for the elderly or cards for hospital patients
  • Support for military service members and their families


About Service Learning

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Laura Wells
Service Learning Resource Teacher

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Last Updated

November 26, 2014