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Global & Local Educational Partnerships

Partnerships enliven our programs, offering our students opportunities to reach beyond their own experience, form meaningful relationships with people from diverse backgrounds, and seek out multiple points of view when problem solving, producing creative work, and pursuing truth.

In the context of cross-cultural and cross-generational relationships, students develop skills in communicating and working with people who are both similar and different to them. This ultimately empowers them to form meaningful, long-term relationships in their lives and careers.

At the heart of all our global and local partnerships lies the idea of reciprocity - everyone involved has something to learn and something to teach.

Global Partnerships

For decades, we have been engaged in long-term relationships with schools and organizations that are diverse in their locations and resources, and with which we share the common goals of broadening horizons and deepening the educational experience by using a global lens. Our whole community is enriched by these experiences, which include welcoming delegations to campus, visiting our partners in their home countries, and collaborating virtually. We continue to expand the opportunities for these reciprocal relationships for all members of our community to engage with our educational partnerships near and far.

eSibonisweni, South Africa

eSibonisweni Primary School is a K-7 elementary school that serves approximately 700 students in a large rural area of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

2003

partnership established

9

in-person visits

2

programs we support

25

families supported through ePOP

Kliptown Youth Program, South Africa

Kliptown Youth Program, or KYP, is a community-based educational organization that provides holistic support and opportunities to the people of Kliptown and surrounding communities.

2012

partnership established

5

delegations to Mark Day

6

delegations to KYP

38

fac/staff visited KYP

Beijing No. 2 Experimental School (Er Xiao), Beijing

Er Xiao is a K-6 elementary school in Beijing.

2007

partnership established

48

students to Er Xiao

185

Er Xiao students to Mark Day

4

teacher exchanges

Local Partnerships

Relationships with organizations in our local area afford students rewarding experiences in working with people of different ages and from all walks of life. We are continually looking to build upon and strengthen these ties so that students can understand their responsibility as citizens of our local community.

LITA

Through a local partnership with Love is the Answer (LITA), once a month, 2nd graders visit the same local senior residence to build relationships with the elderly. Throughout the year, they meet with the same senior citizen to play games, participate in activities together, and celebrate holidays.
 

Cedars Textile Art Collaborative

In Kindergarten, students visit the Cedars Textile Art Center in San Rafael, a diverse program for people with developmental disabilities. Students visit Cedars during the Kindergarten unit on weaving to enhance their learning about fibers and textiles, visit their garden, and meet some of its residents.

Community Engagement

Our developmentally appropriate curriculum gives students at every grade level opportunities to experience the joy that comes from relationships benefiting our collective future. As the program develops in the Upper Division, it also encourages students to examine social inequities.

Each grade has its own way of participating in community engagement, from Kindergartners working with their 8th grade buddies to show caring and respect as they make cards and small gifts for the elderly to Upper School students engaging in projects that promote responsibility for our environment and foster global citizenship. For instance, Kindergartners and 1st graders collect mittens, hats, scarves for the Ritter Center. 3rd graders write letters and make crafts which are delivered through Vivalon’s meals on wheels program. 4th graders grow plant starters in the garden and sell them in an on campus farmer’s market to raise money for KIVA micro loans. Students K-8 participate in the Adopt A Family holiday program by putting on small student-led fundraisers and then selecting gifts for the families. 

We have developed trusting relationships with many organizations over the years, including Downtown Streets Team, Casa Allegra, Vivalon, Adopt-a-Family, KIVA, and more. Through classroom discussion, direct interaction, and reflection, our students are encouraged to view their visits and service activities through the lens of relationship.

Philosophy & Principles

Recognizing and responding to the needs of others is integral to our mission as a school. Service supported by learning in and beyond the classroom encourages students to become local and global citizens with compassionate habits of heart and mind. We believe it is important to focus more on fostering relationships than on raising and donating money.

Our unique program is built on firm philosophical and curricular principles:

  • Partnering with other organizations establishes authentic relationships grounded in mutual respect.
  • Local and global partnership creates opportunities to learn from one another through our differences and varied experiences.
  • Interacting with a variety of communities is key in helping us to learn about and understand ourselves, others, and the connections between us.
  • The Seven Pillars of Character serve as a guide to establishing genuine, reciprocal, empathetic interactions with our neighbors near and far.
  • Service activities are fully supported by reflection, evaluation, and learning in and beyond the classroom.
  • Social-emotional learning is integral to our community engagement program because it develops skills for recognizing and responding to the needs of others.
  • Lifelong learning is possible through and because of our relationships and our capacity to care and to make a difference in each others’ lives.


Fundraising & Philanthropy

While we encourage our students to think beyond fundraising, we recognize that some of our partner organizations are in need of financial support, and throughout the year our community shows its generosity and philanthropic spirit for a variety of causes. Fundraisers also give students the opportunity to learn leadership and organizational skills. It is our greatest hope that students will leave Mark Day School with an abiding desire to contribute positively to their world.

Learn more about DEIJ at Mark Day School.