Co-curricular programming at our school starts in the Lower School and grows in reach and range in each year of a student’s education at LREI. The concept of community is the basis for early co-curricular activities. As students expand their core notion of what “community” means — from classroom to school to neighborhood — they develop the notion of “neighbor” itself. Our youngest students meet and learn about the people in the people who help the school run. They interview or visit with the school secretary, chef or nurse. Soon they are exploring all the corners of the school and making maps, charts and block buildings to reflect their newfound knowledge of the different students, teachers and staff in the school. They not only grow to appreciate everyone, but they feel mastery of their world in their newfound expertise.
Lower school students also engage in community service with neighborhood organizations such as St. John’s Food Pantry, God’s Love We Deliver, the American Red Cross, Heifer International or Project Cicero. Ranging over the years from local neighborhood connections to assisting our global community, students experience how they can be good neighbors to people around the world. Lower school science students study nature’s “community” or ecology. The lessons they learn in school gain greater resonance as students work with park staff in Washington Square Park to plant and maintain gardens or help run a working farm upstate for a week on an overnight trip.