During a time of year when young people can be focused on what they WANT for the holidays, students at Rancho Encinitas Academy (REA) were focusing on GIVING. For the school’s First Annual December Season of Giving every student committed to participating in a self-chosen act of service. Every student on campus completed an individual project. Some projects consisted of delivering meals to homeless individuals, selling poinsettias to raise funds to send low-income students to camp, donating clothes and toys to local agencies, helping elderly neighbors, and completing a 25 mile bike ride to raise money for cancer research. One student sold fudge to raise money to prevent human trafficking. Another student volunteered her time at a few different events aimed at providing needy children with essential items and holiday treats. She said she enjoyed helping kids get Christmas presents. Additionally, she said, “At each of the volunteer events, I liked that kids could help out. I also like that organizations take good used things that other people can still enjoy.”
Each class in the school also made plans for a whole-class community service project. The middle school students volunteer at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas at least once per month throughout the school year. In February, 2016, the middle school students will organize a Valentine’s Day theme “For the Love of Animals” fundraiser for Rancho Coastal. Students in one of the school’s grade 5 and 6 class wrote letters for Macy’s BELIEVE Project, which benefits the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Another grade 5 and 6 class adopted a local beach through the “I Love a Clean San Diego” organization. The class will make trips throughout the school year to clean up the beach they adopted. Younger students in grades 3 and 4 collected 192 of jars of peanut butter for the Community Resource Center in Encinitas. The jars will be given out to needy local families. Another grade 3 and 4 class will be growing produce in their plot at the Encinitas Community garden and donating part of their crops to the Silverado Senior Living Center. Their teacher, Ms. Marna, will also be collecting donations for San Diego’s 1st Saturday’s Homeless Delivery project.
REA’s Parent Group, The Rancho Encinitas Academy League (REAL), sponsored a collection for“Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.” The program provides weekend food packages to chronically hungry elementary school students from low-income households who are at risk of hunger over the weekend when free school meals are unavailable. REA students and their families donated backpacks and essential food items to put in them. The filled backpacks will be delivered to the San Diego Food Bank and be distributed to students in San Diego County who need them.
REA students and their families came together on campus on December 18 to celebrate their individual and combined efforts to give back to the community. Each student hung up a snowflake on which they had written about their personal service project. The school community applauded the students’ efforts and the leadership of their teachers who provided their students with an opportunity to practice selfless acts of kindness and service to those in need. Each student received a certificate which contained the following quote: “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted” — Aesop
Rancho Encinitas Academy and Edison Academy at REA (a school within a school), provide a child-focused, excellent education that emphasizes the process of learning and a strong academic foundation. Preserving a child’s natural wonder and joy of learning is the essence of the schools’ philosophies. The teachers and administration at both of the schools believe that quality learning is facilitated by a positive, relaxed atmosphere, combined with the guidance of highly skilled, caring, and creative teachers. The class sizes are small, and the campus is serene and safe.
Rancho Encinitas Academy
910 Encinitas Blvd.
Encinitas, CA 92024