SOIL programs revolve around the practice of service learning—the combination of formal or academic instruction with an active, physical, service component. By directly and immediately applying their classroom knowledge, our students form brain pathways and body memories that strengthen their skills. When learners are empowered with knowledge and engaged with real-life outcomes, they are better able to reflect on, integrate, and repeat their experiences.
Service learning prepares students to use their knowledge for the good of the whole and equips them to address social problems. Students combine their heads and hearts to think of learning as applicable to life, instead of just a means to a grade. In this way, learning becomes a more holistic approach to living, thinking, and serving others.
Our programs are grounded in the real-life opportunities that make learning deep, long-lasting, and fun. At SOIL, learning can take many forms. Whether learning to knit from a classmate, milking a cow, discovering moon-cycle planting, felling a tree, or resolving interpersonal conflict, students always learn in ways that are applicable, embodied, and repeatable. SOIL's partnership with Earthaven Ecovillage provides ongoing community service projects, hands-on classroom settings, and cooperative team opportunities.
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