From the time they arrive at EB, our students take full advantage of the Bay Area’s rich cultural resources. Classes go on frequent field trips to museums, performances, artists’ studios, bakeries…. everything Berkeley and the surrounding area has to offer.
As the children get slightly older, they go on the multi-day field trips that are one of the defining elements of an EB education. Not only do they explore the world around them, but they also learn about their own ability to be independent.
- Marin Headlands: In October, our third grade classes head to Marin Headlands for a few days of environmental education.
- Coloma: Our fourth graders spend three days at the site where gold was first discovered in California, learning about the Gold Rush, native peoples, and the ecosystem of the Sierra foothills.
- France: Our fifth grade classes spend two weeks staying with families in France. They visit museums, cathedrals, parks, and monuments.
- Catalina Island: A full week of outdoor education for our sixth graders includes hiking, sea kayaking, snorkeling, and studying the natural resources of Catalina Island. Learn more about the program here.
- Washington, D.C.: Seventh graders spend a week visiting the capitol’s monuments for hands-on civics education.
- France: Our eighth grade classes spend two weeks in France for in-depth linguistic and cultural experiences.
At EB, we place great importance in teaching citizenship. Participating in the community around them is an important way in which students can prepare for an active, responsible role in the wider world. Students begin by helping their peers, and gradually expand the scope of their service to include the community around them.
Our community service program starts in fourth grade and continues at the Middle School level; here are just a few examples:
- Fifth graders are trained to serve as conflict managers, who mediate playground disagreements.
- Beginning in fourth grade, students can serve on the student council.
- Once a year, our sixth graders work with Save the Bay, a group which works on environmental protection and wetlands restoration around the Bay Area. They help with shoreline cleanups, remove nonnative plant species, and learn about the Bay’s delicate ecosystem and ways to protect it.
- 8th grade students volunteer at the GLIDE program in San Francisco each year, preparing and serving food.
- We also help support the Alameda County Food Bank through periodic food drives at school and weekly trips in the fall by the Middle School to help sort and distribute food.
- Middle School clubs such as SRAC (Social Responsibility Action Corps) and RAIS (Rights Against Injustice and Stereotypes) support causes that promote social justice such as the Trevor Project, an American non-profit organization founded in 1998 focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.