SANY schools have a celebratory atmosphere and promote positive attitudes through quarterly recognition and rewards for academic efforts and citizenship, evidenced through certificates, gift certificates, and invitations to an annual Dean’s List Dinner for students and their families.
Volunteering is the core of each of our school’s identity. Volunteerism is an incredibly enriching experience that benefits all students–personally, academically, and professionally. The community involvement directly carries the school experience into the real world, through higher education, work, family, community and civic affairs. By recognizing challenges and taking part in solving them, students become better problem solvers and gain real-life application experience. Such success typically leads to a can-do attitude that spreads to academic and work pursuits. In turn, colleges and workplaces view volunteerism as a positive and desirable characteristic in applicants. These student volunteers are seen as dependable, responsible, able to follow instructions, and likely to become committed citizens with intrinsic motivation.
The school provides several opportunities to teach thinking globally and acting locally to all its students through character-building education, mentorship programs, community service, international trips and activities, and various citizenship programs, such as: (a) Elementary school: local field trips on a monthly basis, anti-bullying programs, visits from community, national and international leaders, community service (coin, toy, and food drives for local and national organizations) (b) Middle school: local field trips, visits from community, national and international leaders, character-building education (teaching universally recognized values such as honesty, stewardship, kindness, generosity, courage, freedom, justice, equality), community service (coin, toy, and food drives for local and national organizations) (c) High school: local, national, and international field trips, visits from community, national and international leaders, community service and mentorship programs that provide interpersonal growth, leadership opportunities, self-improvement concepts, academic achievement, and personality growth.
In all K-12 levels, the school has a diverse student population from various backgrounds, race, and countries, which results in a small-world community within the school that promotes a global and local educational mission.
SANY schools fulfill their goal of providing diverse cultural experiences and opportunities for students by arranging fund-raising for annual national and international trips in which students may participate. Students have been given the opportunity to travel overseas to visit colleges, participate in competitions and experience the cultures of Kenya, Singapore, Japan, Turkey, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Canada. Exposure to international travel and cultures provides priceless memories and broadens their understanding of the world. In the United States, students have traveled to California, Florida, New York City, Washington DC, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, and Pennsylvania for sightseeing, competitions, and college visits. They also have attended GENIUS Olympiad, an international high school project competition that draws almost 1000 students from more than 60 countries and 30 states providing a great opportunity to meet peers from many cultures and make long-lasting friendships over the week-long event.
SANY schools co-created a mentorship program to ensure that participating students in grades 8-12 have access to a non-parent adult mentor who can provide emotional support and companionship while serving as a role model for gender and racial identity, self-esteem and self-efficacy beliefs, citizenship, social competence, skills for avoiding risky behavior, engaging in positive health habits, and developing quality relationships with parents, peers, and other adults. The objectives of the program center on increasing school attendance rates, academic performance, and post-secondary attainment. The program incorporates collaboration with local organizations to expose students to additional mentorship opportunities educationally and personally. Students also have the opportunity to participate in collegiate enrichment geared toward helping them navigate educational systems and prepare for 21st-century careers.
A student committee has been supervised to organize a “women’s leadership panel,” whereby local female leaders are invited to speak about their leadership journeys and what it takes to be leader in the future. Each yea, the panel emphasizes a different topic, such as STEM, diversity, the glass ceiling, etc., that relates to common gender and leadership issues. These panelists serve as role models for the students, inspiring them through encouragement and conversations about thinking outside of the box.