Eleven students from Riverview Charter School in Beaufort spent six days in Costa Rica, where they did more than sightseeing.
The students in the school's inaugural eighth-grade class participated in research projects at biological reserves and helped with community building projects. They worked alongside local students and families from Playa Chiquita School to spruce up classrooms, install murals, fix walls and build book cases.
Each student also brought a soccer ball made of recycled Crocs shoes to give to Costa Rican students as a part of the One World Futbol global initiative. The balls are all but indestructible and do not need to be re-inflated, meaning fewer are discarded, according to Riverview director Alison Thomas.
While whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River, students learned about the water's role in the ecosystem, Thomas said. Students also explored agricultural strategies on an organic farm and the geological importance of the La Fortuna area.
The trip was part of the charter school's focus on "learning by doing," which involves community service and civic engagement, Thomas said. The school offers such field trips at the end of second, fifth and eighth grades to help students apply classroom learning to the real world.
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