Sacred Heart Schools

The Sophie’s Scholars Program at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton serves students from underserved and underrepresented communities. In the summer after 5th grade, they spend six weeks in a rigorous academic program with the hope that they’ll enter the upper school as freshmen.

Currently, there are 45 Sophie’s Scholars graduates at the high school and 45 in the just-completed summer program. In addition, fundraising is done so that each student who qualifies can fill the financial aid “gap” when they go to college.

“This summer we were able to attend an amazing three-day summer camp, Sustainable Future Outdoor Academy, in the Santa Cruz mountains where we focused on learning about the environment and what we can to do become more responsible consumers and create more sustainable habits,” said Menlo Park resident Elaine Barry, Director of the Sophie’s Scholars Program.

The first day the students visited a number of sustainable farms on their way to camp. They got splashed by the fish at an  aquaponics farm, had a picnic lunch at the beach, and picked as many strawberries as they wanted fresh off the vines. Once at camp, they had access to new experiences such as canoeing and archery.

“The next morning the students woke up exhausted yet ready to have fun,” said Elaine. Activities on day two included themes on energy and recycling as well as removing invasive species from nearby hillsides.

“They made a meal using food collected from the different farms,” Elaine said. “Many students had the opportunity to try foods they hadn’t eaten before.”

On the third day, each student developed their own personal action plan to bring sustainability to their home, school and community.

Summed up Elaine: “There were multiple purposes for this camp: to infuse more science into the curriculum, to spend time away together bonding, and to offer a new experience for the students. We’re pleased with the outcome!”

Photos by Elaine Barry (c) 2019

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