Fifth-graders at Independence Leadership Academy participated in a Service Learning Project funded by the Brown Foundation.

Service learning is a learn-by-doing approach to the curriculum, sponsored by the Brown Foundation and accomplished through a partnership with Belle Maison Nursing Home.

Sharon Philipson and Catherine Maklary, fifth-grade teachers at ILA, support the students learning in the Service Club.

Through the service learning program, ILA students are making a difference in the community in an intentional way. The students are following the service learning steps of investigation, preparation, action, reflection, demonstration and evaluation by linking what is studied in the classroom to addressing a community need. This program encourages students to apply academic, personal and social skills in improving their community, to continue their individual growth and to become better citizens.

Recently, the students worked with their art teacher, Stephanie Amos, to paint terra cotta pots. The students planted a succulent in each pot and brought them to Belle Maison nursing home residents as gifts. The students sang Christmas songs and spent time with residents.