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 – Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim – Taking Care of Animals – צַעַר בַּעֲלֵי חַיִּים
1st Grade – Hiddur P’nei Zaken – Bringing Joy to the Elderly – הִדּוּר פְּנֵי זָקָן
2nd Grade –Shmirat Haadama – Preserving the Earth – שְׁמִירַת הָאֲדָמָה
3rd Grade – Meshaneh Habriyot – Honoring People with Special Needs – מְשַנֶּה הַבְּרִיּוֹת
4th Grade –V’ahavta L’reacha Kamocha – Appreciating Heroes in our Community – וְאַהֲבָתָהּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ
5th Grade –L’ovda U’leshomra – Work the Land, Feed the World – לְעׇבְדָהּ וּלְשׇׁמְרָהּ
6th Grade –Bal Tashchit – Climate Justice – בַּל תַּשְׁחִית
7th Grade –B’Tzelem Elohim – Diversity and Social Identity – בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים
8th Grade – Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh L’Zeh – Communal Responsibility – כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַרְבִים זֶה לְזֶה
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.