We believe that as children grow and learn academically, they should also develop the passion and skills to make a difference in the world and in the lives of others. At CCJDS, one of the ways we empower our children as changemakers is through our Kindergarten-8th grade, cross-curricular service learning program.
What is Service Learning?
Service learning blends traditional community service with the power of project-based, experiential learning. It engages students in study, action and reflection to solve real world problems and gain deeper understanding and skills. Our program is called SHIR HaLev. SHIR is an acronym for shirut ruchani and the name translates into “spiritual service of the heart.” Each grade-level focuses on a specific Jewish value and service learning activities blend seamlessly into their broader curriculum.
SHIR HaLev Grade-Level Themes:
Kindergarten – Tzaar Baalai Chaaim — Caring for Animals
1st Grade – Hidur Pnai Zaken – Respect for the Elderly
2nd Grade – Shmirat Haadama — Preserving the Earth
3rd Grade – Shinooi Habriot — Honoring People with Special Needs
4th Grade – Le’ovda U’leshomra – Gardening and Sustainability
5th Grade – Chanoch La Naar Al Pi Darkoh – Literacy for All Children
6th Grade – Ba’al Tashchit – Water and Energy Conservation
7th Grade – Betzelem Elohim – Diversity and Social Identity
8th Grade – Kol Israel Arevim Zeh leh Zeh — Communal Responsibility
The culmination of the service learning experience is the 8th grade ambassadorship. After exploring the different grade-level projects and the Jewish values on which they are based, the 8th graders have the opportunity to return to a project that resonated the most with them and mentor younger students doing that work.