This program trains groups of 5th graders to be leaders and mentors for Community Roots' youngest students. Community Builders, known as CBs, are trained, through the use of the arts, to help resolve conflict and work with our younger students. CBs have shifts where they help with kindergarten through 2nd grade lunch and recess duty. During these shifts, the 5th grade CBs assist with lunch time, play with the younger friends, and organize group games. CBs also then continue with interning in classrooms.
Every Thursday morning adults are invited to the Elementary School’s music room for Community Chorus. The grown-ups sing together and learn the songs that their children are learning as well as songs of their own. Community Chorus helps build community and bring Community Roots families together from across the eight grades.
Community Open Opportunity Kitchen School
Community Open Opportunity Kitchen School (COOKS) is an evening program that allows Community Roots families to learn new recipes and cook together. Each week a different parent in the program shows how to make a recipe while the rest of the participants actively follow along by making the dish as well. At the end, the whole group shares the delicious meal together. The purpose of COOKS is to allow an intimate space for building an authentic community.
Community Open Work
Community Open Work (COW) is a collaborative program run by families and staff members that takes place during the regular school day in our elementary school. During this time, families and staff members come together to teach different extracurricular workshops to small groups of students from multiple grade levels. Every workshop aims to allow students to try new opportunities/activities and teach them new skill sets that are applicable to a subject that interests them. Examples of past COW workshop topics include woodworking, cooking, printmaking, skateboarding, and photography.
Community Reads is an adult book club that provides a shared experience around literacy. It is a wonderful space for small groups of parents to come together, discuss a book or readings, and create community through literacy and conversation.
Each month, our school gathers across various grades to make music and share the music they have been learning in class. This community time either brings together a few grades or the entire elementary school community. During this time together, the students share and sing what their grade has been learning, or the entire school sings together. It is an opportunity for us to share together and gather the families, children, and staff to celebrate our community.
Elementary School Class Buddies
Community Root's Class Buddy program matches every kindergarten through second grade class with a third through fifth grade “buddy” class. Once a month the buddies get together for “Buddy Read” where they have a shared literacy experience. Additionally, the buddies get together every few weeks to discuss, think about, and do an activity that focuses on our school’s core values. Buddy classes often find other times to see one another by visiting each other’s culminations, going on trips to the park together, or having shared choice times. Through these activities, our older students serve as leaders and friends to the younger Community Roots students.
At our Middle School, students have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in unique learning environments for one week through non-traditional, hands-on learning experiences that include fieldwork, adventure, internships, service, and work with experts/professionals. Intensive week culminates with a “Presentation of Learning” during which each intensive group shares, with the rest of the community, documentation of their learning process and the final products of their work.
Learning through Service & Action
Learning through Service & Action (LSA) is an after-school program for fourth and fifth graders that explores the idea of learning through community service. Students in the program discuss the meaning of service, meet and interview local community activists, and volunteer together at the Atlantis Care Center. Students brainstorm the community issues they are most passionate about addressing and then develop their own service project to roll out to the whole community. LSA encourages our young friends to take ownership of the issues they see and then translate that experience into action.
PALS is a parent coordinated program, for our kindergarten through third grade classrooms, designed to build community between families outside of the school setting. Since Community Roots is not a neighborhood school, this program allows our students and families, in groups designated by the teachers, to have a shared experience outside of school. It allows our families and their children to engage with other members of their school community, which they would not usually have a chance to do outside of the school day. PALS dates can be as simple as visiting the park together or going to a museum. This program has been a great opportunity for our families to connect.
In addition to performing arts classes throughout the year, our middle school students can audition for one of two school-wide productions. Our school play shows in the Fall and our school musical shows in the Spring.
Each season, our middle school students who are interested in playing team sports have the opportunity to try out for a team that plays in the Charter School Athletic League. These teams are co-ed volleyball, girls' and boys' basketball, and co-ed soccer. Co-ed running is also offered. When these teams compete, it provides great opportunities/spaces for the whole community to come out to support and encourage our CRCS athletes.
Community Roots offers a number of workshops for parents and guardians throughout the year on a variety of topics including grade specific issues, curricular information, and supporting social emotional growth. We offer two large workshop nights a year, and some additional workshops that provide spaces for open discussion. These workshops provide an opportunity for families to connect through discussing the shared issues they are facing and the shared experiences they are having. The space allows families to develop deeper understandings and to give and get support.