The Lower School campus is a small community and we participate in a variety of activities that helps add fun and service to our normal intellectual pursuits. These activities serve to define us, connect us with our extended community, or allow us to relax in the context of things we have accomplished. Here’s the list:
During this week we celebrate literature in a little different way. A book is selected in grade PK thru 3rd grade and read and talked about throughout the week. The older students, 4th – 5th serve as reading buddies to connect with the PK – 3rd. The students then dress up in costumes depicting characters and events in their chosen book and march in a parade for parents and visitors as a culmination of this celebration of literature.
We close up our Library and offer books for sale for a week three times a year. Students and parent’s come to the fair. A percentage of these proceeds go to purchase more books to add to our library collection or needed library equipment.
Traditionally we invite our Grandparents and Grand-friends where they are honored on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Grandparents are treated to a musical and/or dramatic presentation from all classes and then are escorted to their grandchild’s classroom where they are involved in some sort of cross-generational activity designed by the teacher to honor them or just have fun with them.
Throughout the year but especially during the holiday season our parents and friends are treated to a series of Musical/Dramas. Our students work hard to make these programs exceptional – very professional. They are complete with sound, lights, costumes, backups, sets and professional age appropriate program.
Service Learning is a term used in modern education to describe getting involved in some sort of service to the community. Each class picks a Community Service Project each year. We’ve had classes make fleece blankets to give comfort to those in emergency situations; some have collected stuffed animals for the same reason. We’ve collected water, snacks and lip balm during our wild fire season for our firefighters. Some classes pick a convalescent home to visit and adopt some grand-friends that they can spend some time with showering them with handmade cards and gifts.
Our students gather for a weekly worship experience every Wednesday mornings. Student led chapels give our students platform poise and leadership opportunities. Each class prepares on to two chapels per year designed to lead their peers in worship.
The Lower School student contributes to our Annual Auction, by purchasing low cost tickets to go in a teacher can of their choice. Teachers and staff create these teacher cans with a prize of their choice. Tickets are then drawn and the winning ticket holder receives the prize Lower School Students also work on art projects which go into the silent auction.
For one entire week in the spring we focus on the Fine Arts. The visual art pieces created through the year by our students are displayed and adjudicated. We invite outside performing music and drama groups, and visual artist to demonstrate their gifts to our students. Our own middle and upper school students from the Drama, Music, Orchestra, and visual arts departments come and share their talents with our lower school students.
On the last day of school; we all gather together on our field to play variety of games; some of which involve water. Fun, Fun, and more fun are the order for the day. What a great way to start our summer.
The final assembly is a tradition that has been dubbed the “Promotion Celebration”. During this ceremony teachers explain to their next year’s students what their new grade will be like and then invite the rising grade level to their new place in chapel seating. They physically leave their old seats and move to their new chapel seats. We honor our exiting fifth graders (rising sixth graders) and they symbolically move up to the Middle School, by exiting the building.
Middle/Upper School Campus Life
The Office of Campus Life and Ministry coordinates both the spiritual and the social activities of our school, including:
Because Campus Life strives to model servant leadership, parents at Brook Hill are given opportunities both to serve and to be served. Events for parents include encouragement groups and Bible studies for moms or dads, appreciation breakfasts for teachers, dances co-sponsored with student groups, and special after school events for parents. After school events include parenting conferences and parent-child camps.
In a partnership with the Academic Office, the Office of Campus Life and Ministry oversees our Biblical Worldview curriculum. That curriculum includes Bible survey courses in grades 6-7, and introduction to worldview thinking in grade 8, integrated Bible and Humanities in grades 9-10, and worldview and apologetics courses for grades 11-12.
In another partnership with the Academic Office, Campus Life and Ministry coordinates a unique spring course that introduces seniors to strategies for overcoming common obstacles experienced during the freshmen year of college. Topics include: personal finance, interpersonal conflicts, decision making, mental health, health and nutrition, and dating.
Campus Life partners with Athletics during homecoming week to sponsor a homecoming dance at the end of the week, theme-days for each school day, and a special Camp Brook Hill event during the middle of the week.
Brook Hill is devoted to developing student leaders. Currently we have a student council that includes grade level representatives and officers who are responsible for our Homecoming dance, fall service project, and other activities in the spring. We also feature a prefect system that allows students to partner with faculty and staff, serving specific needs of the school and developing leadership skills.
Our clubs are inspired both by student and teacher interests, and so the exact list of clubs is subject to change. Some of our clubs have included national honor societies, robotics, cooking, international affairs, strategic games, and Bible studies.
The heart of our daily Campus Life activities is our student center, affectionately called "Starbrooks." Open during breaks, lunches, and after school, Starbrooks prefects serve snacks to our students, and Campus Life oversees daily recreation that includes ping-pong, air hockey, pool, and other activities.
While our specific projects change from year to year, one thing stays the same: Brook Hill provides multiple opportunities for students to perform community service projects, including advisory group projects and school-wide projects.
Each spring, Brook Hill students participate in a week of Spring Potential And Reality Courses (SPARC). These experience-based education classes include overseas travel and other opportunities to develop a student's potential. To find out more about what grew from one group of students reading Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years during SPARC Week 2011, click here.