character education program
garden school’s mission includes a commitment to promoting the personal development of every student. founded by parents almost 100 years ago, garden has always understood that our families are integral to bringing the mission of the school to life. the more collaborative this community is, the more cohesive and authentic the students’ education will be.
as a school of about 275 students, our strength lies in how our close community ties support the professional relationships between parents, teachers, and students. these connections allow each student’s academic and personal potential to be maximized by acknowledging and addressing them as individual learners. a well-supported and confident student is likely to persevere through academic challenges, involve themselves in school life, try new activities, and develop new interests and stronger friendships.
garden’s culture operates as its own character program. students learn the value of good character by participating in the daily life of the school, and in the class groups, organizations, clubs, teams, service projects, meals, special events, trips and the richness of a garden school education.
to support strong character further, the character education program was created to provide age-appropriate activities to be completed as a whole school, by division, grade, class, families and as individuals.
activities are designed around these four values:
kindness · honesty · inclusiveness · independence
kindness · honesty
inclusiveness · independence
as a school, we spend a portion of each week using one of these values for an entire quarter to focus and guide our reflection, activities and work. the character curriculum is supported by the character committee, made up of teachers representing all divisions.
“garden school, in the independent tradition, affirms the primacy of learning. we empower every student in our educationally diverse community to meet responsibly the challenges of everyday life by promoting academic achievement, personal development and social involvement. we further believe that by recognizing each student’s individual identity, garden school fosters the self-worth necessary to succeed.”
also reflected in the garden mission statement is a desire to support our students’ “social involvement”.
inspiring a sense of collective responsibility along with personal responsibility is achieved on many levels within the school. classroom jobs performed by students, students cheering on their classmates on sports teams, joining and participating in the many garden school clubs available, are all ways that students learn the benefits of taking an active role in their community.
once students enter the high school, they are eligible to join the key club. sponsored by the kiwanis club of la guardia airport, “key clubbers” volunteer throughout queens and throughout the year. in recent months, garden students have participated in kids’ day at la guardia airport, created and distributed thanksgiving baskets at elmhurst hospital, supported various neighborhood clean-ups and provided volunteers for the 78th street play street.
parents can support their child’s sense of community responsibility and involvement by becoming involved in the school through the school’s active parent teacher association or on one of the many school committees or as a parent class representative, field trip escort.