As defined by Youth Service America, service learning is a teaching and learning strategy integrating meaningful service with academic study and reflective practice to enrich learning, build civic engagement, and strengthen communities. Service learning fosters increased student attendance and effort due to its real-world impact serving a community need. Mountain Studies Institute is committed to providing service learning opportunities for local youth. Our ongoing service learning mission is to meaningfully involve students in real-world projects, solving real-world problems to increase student engagement at all levels, improve and maintain academic achievement scores, and develop a deeper connection with their place.
· MSI and the Silverton School partnered up to engage all Silverton youth in service learning to promote environmental stewardship, practical applications of science, and real benefits for the community of Silverton. The entire school adopted aspects of the Animas River Corridor Revitalization Project:
o Kindergartners, first graders, and high school students worked on reseeding and restoring the Lackawanna wetland.
o Second and third graders produced an “Oudoor Adventure Passport: For Kids By Kids” tourist brochure describing the abundant outdoor activities available in Silverton: Page 1: Outdoor Adventure Passport, Page 2: Outdoor Adventure Passport
o Fourth and fifth graders developed interpretive signs for the trail about local geology: Rocking It! Interpretive Sign, A Sedimentary Story Interpretive Sign, Carving the San Juans Interpretive Sign
o Middle school students did the actual Animas River Trail construction, leveling the trail, lining it with rocks, and spreading gravel.
o This service learning project was recognized in the Durango Herald and culminated with a community celebration on Global Youth Service Day 2012 where the students led trail tours showcasing their work.
· Continue Silverton School student involvement in the Animas River Corridor Revitalization Project:
o Complete student-driven service learning projects in wetland restoration, interpretive trail and sign design, trail construction, and fundraising to fulfill the students’ service and academic goals.
o Promote self-reflection among the students and hold another celebration of their accomplishments on Global Youth Service Day 2013.
o Funding is being provided by a State Farm Youth Advisory Board grant.
· Provide mentorship for students with in-school and after-school service learning projects.
· Catalyze additional adult volunteers to support youth projects in the community.
Thank you to our many generous funders!
El Pomar Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation
Youth Service America
Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado
Interpretive Design LLC