Estes Park Trail Gazette – Students Receive Colorado Cares Award for Volunteer Service

Governor Bill Owens and Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton honored outstanding volunteers who make a difference in their communities on August 10th at a reception at the Governor_s executive residence. Eagle Rock School students were awarded the Governor_s 2006 Colorado Cares Volunteer Service Award for their tireless efforts to assist others in their community.

_Volunteers have a powerful impact on the strength and well-being of Colorado_s communities,_ said Governor Bill Owens. _We_re thankful for the dedication of this year_s recipients of the Volunteer Service Award because they are making a difference in the lives of many Coloradans throughout the state._

Lieutenant Governor Norton has direct supervision of Colorado_s mentoring and community service activities, including Colorado Cares Day.Colorado Cares was created in 1999 by Governor Bill Owens as a day of service in recognition of Colorado_s statehood, and as a way to encourage Coloradans to give back to their community.

_These volunteers set an important example for other Coloradans,_ said Norton. _I am proud to have been a part of this event to celebrate the human spirit at its best. Through their work in schools and senior centers, neighborhoods and churches, these volunteers have made a difference in the lives of many Coloradans._

Service learning is recognized by Eagle Rock as an effective, experiential means of preparing young people to make a difference in the world. From the school_s inception, service has figured strongly in its values, expectations and commitments. _Service to others,_ _Environmental stewardship,_ and _Participating as an engaged global citizen,_ are expressed in 8 + 5 = 10 and highly valued at Eagle Rock. Students are expected to _Serve Eagle Rock and other communities_ as an ongoing part of their learning experience and knowledge acquisition at the school. The service-learning instructor and fellow coordinate service-learning experiences and partnerships, providing many direct and indirect community service opportunities for students through a variety of short and long-term activities.

These include the following:

Service Specials, a hands on service-learning course that meets four times a week each trimester and engages students in on- and off-campus community service as well as regular opportunities to think, discuss and write reflectively about their service experiences and viewpoints;

Chores, a community-wide work program whereby students and staff participate in campus maintenance including recycling, landscaping, forestry, resupply and general housekeeping;

EagleServe, which consists of two to three days of community service each trimester provided at Eagle Rock and to the wider community;

Service-Learning Advisory Council, where students have a voice in planning, action and decision-making around service-learning at ERS;

Independent Service Projects, whereby students develop a proposal to integrate a service-learning opportunity into their coursework or personal time;

Classroom Service-Learning Projects, which are coordinated through different instructors and courses.

Service learning appears in courses like Soccer and Service; For the Birds; Service, Spanish and Culture in Guatemala; Four-Corners of Service and Culture; Wilderness; Math and Cooking; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Sacred Benches; and Sustainable Resources. These courses are found across the curriculum in art, math, world languages, science, societies and cultures, music and human performance. Service partnerships are maintained in collaboration with local organizations and agencies. These include Rocky Mountain National Park, MacGregor Ranch, the Prospect Park Living Center, Park School District, the Town of Estes Park, the University of Colorado, Rocky Ridge Music Camp, Sunrise Rotary and many more. Travel and off-campus experience in the wilderness program and in various courses provide service-learning opportunities in both local and distant communities. Students may experience anything from trail work to cross-cultural dialogue, from tutoring at an elementary school to renovating a home on the Navajo Reservation, from picking up trash to organizing a PeaceJam project on global peacemaking, from working with Latino children in Estes Park_s Roundhouse program to teaching English classes in a rural Guatemalan community school.

To view a short clip from the award ceremony visit this link.



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