Santa Barbara Middle School has a unique culture which has grown and rooted in the hearts of our students, teachers, alumni, and families past & present. Our school community has a sense of adventure and excitement that is integral to our aspirations and undertakings. We take this enthusiasm with us as we venture into the outside community to serve and to learn.
Career Study Week is held during the 8 days before Thanksgiving Break. It runs in concert with the Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences. In addition to the Job Lottery sign up day, Community Dean Whitney Ingersoll meets with students for five class periods before the actual job week begins.
- Day of Giving: Each year SBMS students are involved in a “Day of Giving” a day set aside for service just before our winter break. Some students create New Year’s cards for the troops in Afghanistan. Maureen takes students to sing carols at a retirement home, while others create centerpieces for the Veteran’s Memorial luncheon. A group of students pick and bundle fresh tangerines to deliver to various shelters and another group puts together “Necessity Bags” for the residents at Casa Esperanza. It is a heart-filled day of service and goodwill.
- Social Studies Project with KIVA.org: Imagine at your family dinner table your conversation takes you traveling to all seven continents around the globe, and instead of booking a comfortable hotel alongside a stretch of white sandy beach on your next vacation, you opt to stay with Buddhists in Bhutan, celebrate your younger daughter’s birthday with Bedouin “terrorists,” or volunteer in the schoolhouses of the indigenous tribes in Africa. That is what Santa Barbara Middle School’s Sanborn family of five has chosen to do over the past 12 years. With the help of social studies teacher John S.B., our sixth- and seventh-graders utilized online resources to research people and businesses in need of financing in some of the world’s poorest countries. The Sanborn family generously gave each student the minimum investment amount of $25. Students used the donations from Eric to fund nearly 60 small business projects. Using muscles they probably didn’t think they had, students also spent a lovely May morning getting very close to their classroom subject by filling and carrying containers of water from Rocky Nook Park to school. Extra credit was to be had if the students then comitted to using just that water for all their drinking, cooking, and bathing needs that day. It was a culmination of the project in which students looked into economics, principles of business startups both here and abroad, how geography affects business, people, and agriculture and how interconnected we are with people all over.
- Bike Monkeys at Earth Day: As the winner of Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition’s (Bici Centro) Bike to Earth Day contest, Santa Barbara Middle School will donate the cash prize of $250 to a nonprofit or charity of its choice. Nearly 50 riders pedaled their way to the April 21 event to be the largest group of organized riders attending the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival. A key aspect behind the safety and success of the school’s biking journeys is the help and expertise they get from their student Bike Monkey team — a group of student leaders trained in bike mechanics. This is the third year that the SBMS Bike Monkeys have assisted the Bike World program at the Community Environmental Council’s Earth Day Festival.
Honoring Mike deGruy
Some memories of long-time friend, alum parent and SBMS supporter Mike deGruy.