Service Learning

Old Trail School’s commitment to service learning is embedded in our mission statement and in our core values.  Within our school students learn that age is no barrier to serving.  Students participate in a variety of age appropriate service opportunities throughout their years, from pre­school through grade eight.  These opportunities exist not only in our school, but locally, regionally, nationally, and even globally and include serving others by giving their time, talent, and treasure.  Through meaningful involvement in service learning, students learn how to advocate for others as they grow to become compassionate citizens.  Our alums carry these experiences with them and leave Old Trail School imbued with empathy for others, a passion to make the world a better place, and the leadership, persistence, and initiative to make it happen.  

As we look to our local community, we see great need and opportunity.  For example, each month eighth graders open their Café to middle school students by selling hot chocolate and donuts with the proceeds benefiting the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank.  Service goes beyond donations, as middle school students contribute their time monthly by volunteering at the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank. This local focus extends to Akron Children’s Hospital, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and the Akron-Canton Regional FoodBank.  Beyond our neighborhood, our students have supported awareness campaigns and fund­raising efforts for the environment, poverty, hunger, and crisis support, and have responded to disasters like Hurricane Harvey in 2017.  Service is a shared school-wide value that is clearly supported by our entire School community.

List of 2 items.

  • Heifer Ranch

    Old Trail School has offered a summer service learning trip to Heifer International’s 1,200 acre ranch in rural Arkansas every other year since 2008. This activity fulfills our need for giving our middle school students the opportunity to participate in an authentic, real-life service experience.  Students come back to school energized about wanting to take action to take better care of our earth and to bring awareness about world hunger and poverty.
  • OTS Community Day of Service

    Students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 worked on campus making Craft Kits, Get-Well Cards, Valentine Placemats and No-Sew Fleece Blankets for Akron Children's Hospital. Students in Grades 3-5 also worked together to make a meal (salad, chicken and dumplings, garlic bread and chocolate chip cookies for homeless families who are part of Family Promise of Summit County.) Students and parents also worked outside on our campus clearing trails and cleaning up the willow tunnel on the School's farm.

    Middle Schools students went off campus to the Haven of Rest Homeless Shelter in Akron and made
     beds, folded clean pajamas and towels, helped prepare for the lunch meal, and made cards of encouragements.

    This event was part of the nationwide observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Participation in the MLK Day of Service has grown steadily over the past decade, with hundreds of thousands of Americans each year engaging in projects such as tutoring and mentoring children, painting schools and senior centers, delivering meals, building homes, and reflecting on Dr. King's life and teachings. Many of the projects started on King Day continue to engage volunteers beyond the holiday and impact the community year-round.
     
Old Trail School is an independent day school (toddler through grade eight) located in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.