Students in grades eight through twelve have the opportunity to choose from the following Interim Week experiences. Descriptions of the grades five - seven Interim Week programs are at the end of this list.
VOLUNTEERING WITH TUCSON’S REFUGEE NETWORK
Arizona is home to tens of thousands of refugees and consequently to dozens of charitable organizations who help this population through their difficult transition into a new home and culture. We’ll learn about Tucson’s refugee networks, traveling to various headquarters to meet the organizers in charge of such meaningful work. We’ll also visit with a panel of professionals who will discuss the pros and cons of Sanctuary Cities. Most importantly, we’ll volunteer by harvesting fruit for Iskashitaa and by organizing supplies at Casa Alitas. You must be 16 years or older by April 1, 2020 to participate in this service project. Ms. Noriega, Mrs. Young, and Mr. Young will be leading this project.
LANDSCAPING AND MURAL PAINTING
Spend three days beautifying the area north of our TGS library. Let’s add greenery, trees, flowers, and a bright mural! We need students who will envision a plan for this area, and are willing to dig, plant, scrape, clean, and paint. We’ll meet during some Friday explorations in January and February to plan and design. You’ll make a difference that will last for years! Ms. Clashman, Ms. Babbitt and Ms. Thanikachalam will be leading this project.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS AND THE GREGORY RECREATIONAL GAMES
The students in this group will be meeting with a class of 30 special needs students on Wednesday and designing a Field Day style event for them. On Thursday we will host the students on our campus and have friendly competitions (ping pong, badminton, disc golf, a farm yard scavenger hunt, putt putt golf and long drive) set up for them to participate in. We will host a lunch and give out awards designed by us after the events. On Friday we will travel to Safford to volunteer in a Special Olympics sponsored youth track meet. This will be a physically active experience and will provide lots of fun and excitement for members of the special needs community. Coach Dickinson, Coach Earnhart, Ms. Patton, and Mr. Carlson will lead this project.
This interim week project will work with the local chapter of the non-profit organization Project Linus to make blankets for children ages 0 - 18 in the Tucson area who need a little extra comfort and security. Project Linus makes, collects and distributes blankets to children who are experiencing some kind of trauma. The loss of a family member or home, a severe illness, or the pain of neglect or abuse can be soothed with the gift of a warm blanket. Students who choose this interim week opportunity will learn the basic skills needed to operate a sewing machine, then design and choose fabric for a blanket, cut out and sew the blanket, and finally deliver the blanket to Project Linus volunteers for distribution to children in need. This project will be lead by Ms. B Cain and Ms. Hubman.
GLOBAL ART PROJECT
Whether visual or literary, come create art! Students will be working in and around studio room 13 creating art to be exchanged with partners somewhere else in the world through the Global Art Project. The official mission of the Global Art Project is “to joyously create a culture of peace through art. The Project celebrates diversity and multiculturalism while expressing the idea: We Are All One.” The Project has involved over 155,000 participants in 93 countries on seven continents and was founded in Tucson, Arizona in 1993 by artist Katherine Josten. This project will be led by Ms. Encila, Ms. Barnett and Ms. Cain.
Team service will spend three days learning about different non-profit organizations, doing need- based projects, and providing our time to make a difference in our Tucson community. Each day of interim we will volunteer at or for an organization focusing on the at-risk populations in our community, including domestic abuse survivors as well as youth and adults experiencing homelessness. This group will also work to collect donations prior to interim. Mrs. Borleske, Ms. Colosimo and Ms. Hazan will be leading this project.
RIDING FOR RUBBISH
The Gregory School borders one of Tucson’s greatest assets, the river path. It is a scenic trail of majestic mountain views and a great stroll through our desert environment. With its development into a large 130 mile loop, the trail has seen increases in use. We will study ways we can do our part to improve the river path. We will connect with other river path neighbors, the local habitat surrounding the trail, and the many users who value this outdoor experience. We will spend much of our time directly improving the path, removing trash and beautifying the area, while also learning about many other ways we can enrich this local attraction. We will use bicycles to study areas along the path and to transport our team to various locations along the path. Mr. Connor and Mr. Kraus will be leading this project.
HELPING KIDS LIVING WITH ILLNESS
This interim week project focuses on children in Tucson who are living with serious illness. Students who choose this opportunity will work with organizations like Kids of Steele, a group that facilitates events at Diamond Children’s Hospital such as Hem/Onc Breakfasts and Angel Afternoons (crafts & snacks), which cater to patients and their families. We also plan to work with the organization Beads of Courage, which provides kids dealing with serious illnesses with customized strings of beads that commemorate treatment milestones/foster connection, and, according to the Beads of Courage website, help kids “tell the story of their illness.” Lastly, we plan to work with Ben’s Bells, a longtime Tucson non-profit that honors kindness and compassion. Overall, the project will give students a chance to make a difference in the lives of kids from all over Tucson. Ms. Bergersen, Ms. Langan-Peck, Mrs. Boudreau and Mr. Milner will be leading this project.
CULTURAL PRESERVATION AND COMMUNITY BUILDING
We will explore the importance of Cultural Preservation in building and strengthening community through the appreciation of shared history and the work to preserve historical architecture, artifacts and stories. To demonstrate these links, we begin with the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood (OFL) and learn how through the preservation of its historical architecture in the 1970s, the neighborhood has developed a stronger community. We will visit the sites and people instrumental in OFL, and explore the links between OFL and TGS. The agenda will include meeting with local experts in cultural preservation, and will include hands-on work in documenting and preserving history. This may include documenting oral histories, learning about adobe preservation and working with adobe, and creating viable ways to link the TGS community to its roots in the OFL history. Ms. Wevill and Dr. Adams will be leading this team.
MOUNTAIN BIKES AND URBAN PARKS: STEWARDSHIP OF THE 100-ACRE WOODS
The Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclics (SDMB) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that is dedicated to protecting, enhancing and providing mountain biking opportunities to the general public through, among many other activities, building, maintaining and enhancing local mountain biking trails. We will spend interim week working closely with head volunteers at SDMB at the 100-Acre Wood Bike Park, a jewel of urban mountain biking in Central Tucson. The 100-Acre Wood Bike park is a collaborative effort between David Monthan Airforce Base, The City of Tucson and SDMB. Development of these urban mountain biking trails began in 2019 and relies completely on volunteer efforts. Interim week activities will vary day to day and may be on-site at the 100-Acre Wood or may be off-site at The Gregory School. On-site activities may include trimming vegetation, building ramps, moving soil, spreading gravel and shaping trails among others; off-site activities may include building items like signs, bike racks and benches for park visitors. Activities and meeting times will be selected to accommodate weather conditions and student abilities. Dr. Gallo and Dr. Willy will be leading this team.
TAKING THE SHOW ON THE ROAD
We’re taking the show on the road! Students will create their own production featuring scenes, songs, and monologues from various sources. The show will travel to several elementary and middle schools in the area. We are looking forward to bringing our performing artists to student audiences in the community. Ms. Bodden and Dr. Fresolone will be leading this project.
7th Grade Interim Week: RESTAURANT WARS
This is a unique opportunity for students to learn how to collaborate, be creative and critical thinkers, and work within and for the school and local community. The goal of Restaurant Wars is to work together to build a restaurant and document the process in three days. Ms. Newton, Ms. Celentano, Ms. Heald, Mrs. C. Reynolds, Mr. Krohn, and Ms. Ely will be leading Restaurant Wars.
6th Grade Interim Week: COLLABORATION and COMMUNITY in the GREAT OUTDOORS
The purpose of our interim week is to provide opportunities for students to learn and build community outside of the normal classroom parameters. In the 6th grade we will be working with current and alumni parent Elizabeth Sparks, the 4-H Youth Development Agent of Tucson Village Farm, and Ironwood Tree Experience, a non-profit group in town that provides environmental and experiential education adventures for students. Mr. Clashman, Mrs. Jacobs, Ms. Patt, Mr. Phillips, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Vanek will be the TGS staff members joining the sixth graders for their interim week experience.
5th Grade Interim Week: WAGONS HO’!
5th Grade Interim Week is a rip roarin’ interactive experience of life on the Oregon Trail! Students will take on the role of a historical figure who travelled west in the late 1800s and collaborate with their classmates as part of a wagon team. Together, they will learn and master basic skills essential to the westward traveler, such as sewing, cooking, roping, and navigating. We will also learn about motivations for westward expansion, such as the Gold Rush, as well as different trails and landmarks followed by settlers. We will conclude the week with a live Oregon Trail game experience where student wagon teams will work together in navigating around campus completing various challenges. Who will survive the westward trail? Mrs. DeBenedetti and Mrs. Hernandez will lead this project.