Summit Charter Intermediate Academy is a middle school in the Burton School District. It's a unique school in that it's the only International Baccalaureate (IB) school which offers the Middle Years Program in Tulare County.

The IB program’s philosophy centers on developing the whole child both academically and socially with a focus on giving back to the community through service as action. All eighth grade students are required to create, participate in, and present a community service project culminating their work over a four month period of time.

This is a requirement for students to receive their Middle Years Certificate of Completion which can be used for future academic endeavors, including college applications. Caylie Fleischman and Madison West, both eighth grade students at Summit Charter Intermediate Academy, truly made a difference by giving back through the action they chose to take for their Community Projects.

Fleischman chose to collect donations through a Facebook page, make Christmas stockings and donate them to both Sierra Hills and the Bella House. She was able to collect donations to make close to 120 stockings.

Fleischman included socks or a scarf, a puzzle, lotion or lip balm, hand sanitizer, a pack of sugar-free candy and a Christmas ornament in each Christmas stocking.

I chose this topic for my project because I see on the news that the elderly have been so isolated from their families this year. I think everyone should be able to have a little happiness during this time of loss and loneliness,” stated Fleischman referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.

West also diligently worked to make a difference in her community by collecting new, unwrapped toys for the patients at Valley Children’s Hospital. She was able to collect a total of 200 toys, including dolls, games, puzzles, action figures, etc.,for all age ranges, that will go directly to the young patients at the hospital.

I chose to donate toys to Valley Children’s Hospital because I like helping people and I know that it can be scary being in a hospital. I wanted to distract the kids from what is going on in their lives,” West shared when asked why she chose her project topic.They (Valley Children’s Hospital) were very grateful for the donations and they told met hat these toys would definitely make a difference in children’s lives.”

One great lesson both girls learned through the completion of their Community Project was how giving and generous our community truly is.

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