PLACE-BASED LEARNING The sophomore year is when we connect with the world around us. We explore the landscape beyond the MHS campus, focusing on local environmental studies and farming, and we participate in workshops that emphasize the history, politics, and economics of the Berkshire region. We also step off-campus with class-wide service projects and small-group visits to Horizons sites. This hands-on activism paves the way for further exploration of nonprofit organizations in the junior year.
SOPHOMORE PROJECTS On campus, we help prepare and grow vegetables in our campus garden. As a class, we unpack access community-wide and support off-campus initiatives in the community that help specifically with food access. We learn about the Community Agriculture (CSA) model while harvesting vegetables at local farms and gleaning food for area food shelves. We have brainstormed ways to improve sustainability on campus and have partnered with local environmental organizations to learn about community conservation efforts. We pitch in to help, too!
Time on campus also provides opportunity for workshops underlining the design-thinking process, voice development, and Digital Citizenship. Areas of study include Community Supported Agriculture, farm visits and service, and MHS garden work. The sophomore class is also involved in the class-wide design of Thanksgiving community philanthropy and event planning, an MHS tradition.
November - May
For the remainder of the year, sophomores volunteer in small groups at sites that emphasize community service.
In the afternoons, after their site work, girls participate in reflection and discussion of community needs during Horizons class time. Students explore and experience the socioeconomic landscape of the region and pitch in to make the community a better place. Discussion topics may include: charity vs. justice, basic needs, local history voices, and voice development: debate and civil discourse. Digital Citizenship continues.
Tenth Grade students pitch in to help Horizons partner, Housatonic Valley Association, maintain rain gardens in Pittsfield, helping to keep pollutants and contaminants out of the Housatonic River Watershed.