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Grade 8: Capstone Projects Focus on Purpose

As the 2020-21 school year comes to a close, Grade 8 students don’t have time to slow down quite yet. They are hard at work on Capstone projects, which focus on identifying a global sustainable development goal that is meaningful to them and envisioning what they can do locally, with purpose, to impact positive change in our community.
Each project began with research, followed by thinking and writing about their selected issue, and submitting a proposal to their Capstone mentor. Next up is a plan of action, which includes finding a real-world way to help a local organization (or an organization or awareness campaign of their own design) in its efforts to address the problem. The project will culminate with a paper and a pitch to representatives of the Eagle Fund, a philanthropic organization founded by 11 Graland alumni that graduated in the early 1990's whose mission is to make tangible and lasting improvements to education in Colorado.

The Eagle Fund will select five Capstone students and award each with a $1,000 grant to take their project to the next level with a local nonprofit organization. “As the Eagle Fund searches for innovative ways to advance our Colorado community, not only are we confident that Graland Capstone projects will make a lasting impact, but we look forward to partnering with top select students  as they learn about philanthropy and seek to make a difference in our community,” they said in a statement. The awards will be announced in June.
 
Grade 8 student Sloane Thompson chose sustainable cities and communities. She reports, “My project plan is around helping to provide affordable housing in Denver by volunteering with organizations like CHFA (Colorado Housing Finance Administration), or working with organizations that help build tiny homes for people in need.”
 
Gavin Weber selected affordable and clean energy as the basis of his Capstone. “Electric cars are being produced by several companies, but the fact of the matter is that there aren’t many charging stations that aren’t drawing off of your own house’s energy in your garage,” he said. “I am researching organizations that are trying to put chargers at gas stations and parking garages, so more people will consider using electric cars.”
 
Quality education is the focus of Addison Smith’s Capstone. “I want to help to make sure children are given a quality education in life. I hope to organize a fundraiser for an organization like Great Education Colorado.”
 
Aaron Molina would like to eliminate racial prejudice in soccer. “My plan is to work with an organization called Common Goal, which is an anti-racist project working with different soccer coaches around the world. This topic interests me because I really like soccer, and I am interested in helping make the world a better place.”
 
These are just a few examples of this year’s Capstone projects. As they near graduation day, these projects demonstrate how our eighth graders are holding fast to Graland’s Guiding Principles.
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.