A vital dimension of New Roots Charter School is our connection with our community.
Students engage in frequent field studies and community service projects, internships and apprenticeships, and community-based capstone projects. Our Tuesday and Thursday schedules have been designed with the block scheduling and flexibility that allows teachers ample opportunity to schedule labs and mentoring community activities in the field. A diverse group of community partners provide New Roots students with extensive internship and community service opportunities.
New Roots students can be seen around town serving their community in partnership with the many local organizations, including:
- Reading/homework buddy groups at GIAC and Fall Creek After-School Program
- Teaching technology skills to older adults at Lifelong
- Playing games and doing crafts with residents at Beechtree Care Center
- Sewing fuel- and money-saving "door snakes" for low-income residents using salvaged fabric at Sew Green
- Building cold-frames with Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County for a Town of Ithaca community garden with locally-harvested locust wood
- Refurbishing and recycling used computers through the Ithaca Youth Bureau's Computer All-Stars program
- Forming a peer education mental health role-playing theater troupe in collaboration with Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service
Students learn first-hand about community needs through ongoing service-learning, a method of teaching, learning and reflecting that combines academic classroom curriculum with meaningful service. Research consistently shows that service-learning is a powerful way to engage students with diverse learning styles and levels of academic achievement, and that students who engage in service learning projects in high school are more likely to be community leaders later in life.