Peak School introduces community service program
The Peak School, a private, independent school in Frisco presently serving sixth through 11th grade, spearheaded the production of “Alice in Wonderland” through its theater club at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge in early March.
The show, which involved 15 students from three schools (Peak, Summit Middle School and Summit High School) was the brainchild of Peak 11th-grader Selah Kreeger and is the byproduct of Peak’s new student-driven high school community service program, the 20% Project. Peak literature teacher Monica Mills is helping lead the undertaking, and the school currently has 15 such projects underway.
The program is based on a Google professional development conference for teachers held last year, and was initiated after Peak high school students were looking for a way to model leadership and give back to the community. Students in grades 10 and 11 (the four-year-old school will introduce 12th grade next fall) design projects aimed at community enrichment at the school, within Summit County, around Colorado, or beyond.
To help make these projects reality, Mills’ literature course dedicates 20 percent of class time to developing and carrying out plans. Doing so helps share what each student learns along the way and aids accomplishing goals through these unique experiences.
With the production of “Alice in Wonderland,” 17-year-old Selah Kreeger’s was more than just a play. The project helped foster student leadership and cross-age interaction across several Summit County school communities.
“‘Alice in Wonderland’ was not only entertaining and fun, it was an extraordinary example of what dedicated and talented young people can do when given the freedom and responsibility to create their own work,” Steve Coleman, Peak head of school, said in a news release. “I’m so pleased, too, that students from Summit Middle School and Summit High School were intimately involved. Selah has show that The Peak School can play a key role in the arts in Summit County.”
Outside the efforts with the play, some students are opting to give back to the Peak community with the 20% Project, by leading classes that interest them. For instance, during a quarterly event Peak hosts called CommuniTeach, which aims to engage students with the local community through small, focused workshops, several students taught tutorials.
Arel Svenson, 16, and Kira Benson, 17, led workshops for middle school students on engineering and songwriting, respectively. Conor Craig, 16, helped develop new outdoor education curriculum with guidance from professional in the county as part of his project, laying the groundwork for future student-led trip. Specifically, he led a trip alongside Peak faculty, helping them with logistics from the chose route to grocery shopping and the menu served while on the trip.
As another example, 10th-grader Hope Armstrong seeks to promote literacy by building Little Free Libraries around the county. The book exchange program, where readers can “take-a-book, return-a-book” at no cost, is housed in birdhouse-like structures set on a past, and Armstrong has three birdhouses in the works with plans to place them at Frisco Town Hall, Summit County Pre-school, and the Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC).
For more information about The Peak School, visit the program’s website at http://www.thepeakschool.education.
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