This is not a phrase often associated with the average teen. Developing a sense of international-mindedness, defined by a caring, open- minded, problem-solving attitude, is part of the mission for all students at Pacific Beach Middle School and the cornerstone of the educational philosophy underpinning the International Baccalaureate programs.
Students at PBMS take the initiative to reach out and make a difference through service to the local and global community. Principal Ernie Remillard said he understands the importance of education as a collaborative effort.
“We are thankful to be part of a community that has a clear vision to support today’s children who will be part of tomorrow’s future,” he said. “In the last two years, our 12- to 14-year-old IB students logged over 20,000 hours of personal action and community service. Our philosophy of education empowers them, while the community embraces them and is the vehicle for students who are ready to take charge.”
Students are learning the communication, collaboration, thinking and social skills that are needed to take action. Through partnerships with local organizations, students are learning how to be innovative, creative global citizens. With Kiwanis International, for example, Builders Club students learned about the need to eradicate tetanus throughout the world.
Eighth-grade student Ciara Gray started a project as a way to earn her Silver Award in Girl Scouts. Now, her project has grown — and so has her skill set. This year, Gray partnered with Belmont Park to run a toy drive benefiting two organizations: Hope in the City Christmas Store, a one-day gift store that makes new toys available to refugee families for a small price in City Heights, and the Ronald McDonald House.
Gray coordinated the middle-school student volunteers who helped with toy donations, gift-wrap, language translation and entertainment to the children on the day of the event.
In recognition of Gray’s success, Belmont Park gave an all-expense paid visit for an afternoon of rides for the winning class.
— Staff and contribution