Serving Other Communities
Regional and Global Outreach
Instilling compassion and civic responsibility and inspiring students to take mindful action with personal and joint accountability is a mission-driven, integral part of The Cushman School Journey.
At Cushman, we believe that it is as important to develop good citizenship and foster social leadership in our students, as it is to challenge them academically. Serving in our community helps students by awakening concern for those coping with hardship and encouraging a sense of responsibility for our environment. Through giving back, students will learn from others with experiences different from their own and develop their character, a cornerstone of Cushman School’s unique culture of kindness, empathy, and concern for others.
Driven to Make a Difference
The Elementary Student Council and Middle School Student Government Council (SGA) are one of many ways school life reflects the values of The Cushman School. Student Council and SGA provide kids with an opportunity to make a difference. The Student Council and SGA programs are committed to linking character education to service learning opportunities, and providing students with skills of leadership, citizenship, and stewardship. Student Council and SGA eligibility is determined through a monthly evaluation of the student in the areas of Industry, Courtesy, and Responsibility. During the fall and spring semesters, the Student Council and SGA selects its governing officers (president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer) through an election process. Eligible students in grades four through eight have an opportunity to provide leadership on campus by organizing and running special school events and projects. Some projects are traditionally woven into the council such as:
- Annual Food Drive
- Book Drive
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Pennies for Patients
- Red Ribbon Week
- Veteran’s Day Poppy Sales
- St. Jude’s Hospital Math-A-Thon
- Douglas Gardens class visits
- Make-A-Wish Foundation Talent Show
- Ronald McDonald House
- America’s Moms For Soldiers and Spirit Week
Once a month, a Cushman class visits the residents at the Jewish Home for the Aged at Douglas Gardens. The students sing, play games, visit and assist in serving refreshments to the residents. The intergenerational activities create empathy, understanding and appreciation of diversity in our students. We are both the givers and the recipients of many “gifts” from the residents.
Service learning connects our school-based curriculum with the inherent caring and concern young people have for their world, whether on their school campus, at a local food bank, or in a distant rainforest. The results are memorable, lifelong lessons for students to foster a stronger society for us all.
Service learning differs from other forms of community service or volunteer work because the education of students and young people is always at its core. Students are actively participating in the process of understanding, integrating, and applying knowledge from various subject areas as they work to improve their communities. We at The Cushman Middle School feel this is an important habit to cultivate. Cushman encourages a spirit of service among its students through participation in Student Government, Cushman Cares Projects, food drives, community service days, Ronald McDonald service dinners, America’s Moms for Soldiers, and various other activities in conjunction with our diverse Service learning themes.
In a two year rotation, our students research and discover opportunities and issues centered around global and community issues.
The Cushman School is part of The Community Learning Partnership (CLP). CLP is a consortium of educational institutions and community organizations in the Miami Shores area committed to sharing resources regarding common goals and interests. Through this combined effort, the partnership enhances the quality of our programming, projects and events and will develop and implement initiatives to benefit the community as a whole.
- provides a forum for sharing projects and events in an effort to support each other’s activities and partner where possible.
- Reduces costs for programmatic activities is important at this time given the revenue issues that many of our private and public schools are facing.
- Allows these schools and organizations, with their university partner, to create greater civic engagement in common activities and events as well as highlight what each institution is offering.
- Will be used as a prototype and model for other communities seeking to create civic engagement through partnership projects.
- Works to create shared experiences that help strengthen a sense of community among all our schools and community members.
SAM Challenge is a required four-year course for all Cushman High School students and pushes them to grapple with our world’s most pressing problems, develop innovative solutions and engage the community in a call to action. This initiative brings to fruition the highest level of the application of Cushman’s mission of developing future leaders who have a positive approach to life.
In addition, each year, our high school students participate in a Day of Service. This Day of Service is built into the SAM course curriculum so that students can experience the impact of their projects, see the needs of others firsthand, and learn how to become effective Innovators of Change themselves.