Service Learning Program.

In what was truly a group effort by Pacific Ridge School and the community, parents and students organized a donation event to provide much needed support to Veterans Village and Canine Companions for Independence/Wounded Veterans Initiative. They not only donated needed items, but also their personal time to the two veteran oriented, local organizations.

As San Diego is home to a very large veteran population, the charities are vital to sustaining many who are in need. Veterans Village assists over 2,000 homeless veterans every year by providing rehabilitation, aftercare, employment services and more to ensure they are able to make a healthy and successful transition back to civilian life. Canine Companions for Independence provides highly trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities, including many veterans. The organization sets itself apart with the extensiveness of their continued support to ensure successful matches.

Inspired by the Service Learning Program, the parents of Pacific Ridge students decided they would like to partake in a project that would make a positive impact in the lives of others. The Service Learning Program teaches students the importance of getting involved in their community and the value of giving back. The Carlsbad school has created a program that allows students’ involvement in local organizations to grow as they move up through middle school and high school.

To bring the event full circle, everyone involved had the opportunity to learn more about Canine Companions and hear from two veterans who have directly benefitted from the organization’s services. This event builds upon the school’s philanthropic development program by allowing the kids to work together with friends and family to run their own event. Their efforts brought in substantial contributions including necessities such as clothing, toiletries and dog supplies.