Promoting Awareness With Service

We want our students more concerned with what’s happening down the street than what’s happening in cyberspace.

Service Learning is a method of teaching, learning and reflecting that combines the academic classroom curriculum with meaningful service throughout the community Service learning has always been an integral part of the Desert Academy community and curriculum, providing authentic learning experiences that help our students grow into adaptable, socially responsible global citizens. We believe that everyone has a responsibility to contribute positively to society and the environment, and our students take great pride in their service work – learning along the way that they can have a positive impact in our world.

In 2018-2019, Desert Academy is building on the previous success by launching a new program, PAWS, Promoting Awareness With Service, which aims to build and support long-term partnerships with various organizations and communities in and out of Santa Fe.  Our program offers students real world knowledge, skills and experience by conducting service learning projects in multi-age groups with the goal to improve our local and global communities. Taking action as the result of learning is an important part of being a principled and caring IB learner. Our program seeks to fulfill the following IB learning outcomes where our students:

•    Become more aware of their own strengths and area for growth
•    Undertake challenges that develop new skills
•    Discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities
•    Persevere in action
•    Work collaboratively with others
•    Develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding
•    Consider the ethical implications of their actions

Student groups are supervised by faculty sponsors or in collaboration with local organizations.  Please contact Phil Lucero for more information or to provide your support: plucero@desertacademy.org

Here are some our school's service groups:

Human Rights Ambassadors: Working with Elana Haviv from Generation Human Rights, students take a deep dive into current Human Rights issues and as a team choose one local issue to begin addressing. Students will also be instrumental in developing a unique curriculum that will provide human rights training for future Desert Academy students.

Desert Press Corps: This dedicated team of students documents school events through photography, film and reporting for multiple platforms: Oasis Magazine, Desert Website, Desert Facebook, local media, yearbook, partner organizations, and other media-related areas.

Ground Zero Radio: In collaboration with Warehouse 21 and KSFR, students create original programming for the Ground Zero hour. Students DJ both local, student created, and popular music, and interview students from across northern New Mexico who are doing amazing things.

Oasis Magazine: Working with James Reich, English/Philosophy teacher and published author, and a number of volunteers with extensive experience in the magazine world, students produce Oasis magazine. Oasis contains 100% student content with articles, poetry, recipes, art work, photography. Students secure ads in order to help publish the magazine and have it available city-wide. See last year’s Oasis magazines on Student Life/Student Voice.

Food Depot: Partnering with the Food Depot students will support the organization’s efforts to provide food for people in need. Projects may include packaging and delivering meals to families, volunteering at soup kitchens, supporting bills at the Legislature, and learning and teaching others about healthy eating.

Environmental Stewardship: This crew works directly with outside agencies and school personnel on needs assessments and support efforts to clean the city and our wild spaces.

Wildcats on the Move: This team works to creating and facilitating running themed events for Desert Academy families and the greater Santa Fe population. Events include the Haunted Forest walk/run, Paws for a Cause and a Winter Festival. The team also supports trail building and maintenance.

Dance Revolution: Dance is a powerful tool! Knowing how to move your body through space is helpful and empowering. By teaching dance, we can help young people grow confidence and learn how to use their bodies gracefully and confidently. Also, school and social dances are great opportunities to build connections and communities. This group will start by learning a variety of social dance styles so that our Desert students are more confident in these social situations. They will then branch out to work with outside communities and schools that are interested in learning how to dance.

Global Ambassadors: In partnership with the Santa Fe Council for International Relations (CIR), students support ongoing educational programs focused on global citizenship and work with visitors from the  International Visitor Leadership Program through the State Department, 

Assistance Dogs of the West: In partnership with ADW, students learn the fundamentals of training assistance dogs and get a “behind the scenes” look at the complexities of running a non-profit. Students decide how best to get support ADW in the community.