Community Engagement

Through authentic learning experiences, MKA students develop lifelong social-emotional habits and learn to partner with others to make a difference within a community.

MKA Students Will:

Use Dialogue to establish relationships with community partners that provide insight into the partners' perspective and needs.

Act on the understanding of their responsibility as citizens to positively impact a community. 

Reflect to foster personal growth and refine their strategy for impact. 

Community Partnerships


Opportunities for Community Engagement at MKA

Curricular Connections

  • Fourth grade recycling connections
  • Science study of energy
  • History of waste through studies of immigration and Native Americans
  • Leadership of recycling through the Middle School community. 

Student Driven Initiatives

  • Community Service Initiatives 
  • Senior May Term
  • Weekly Outreach Trips
  • Service Saturdays 

Community Events and Drives

  • Fleming 5k
  • Thanksgiving Food Drive
  • PAMKA Blood Drive
  • The Giving Tree

Global Experience Service Trips

MKA Upper School students have the amazing opportunity to travel across the world to help others via our Global Experience program. Learn more about the 2019 travel offerings and read blogs from past trips on our Global Experience page.

Immediate Crisis Response

When a natural disaster strikes, school-wide initiatives are put in place to immediately address the needs of those affected via online donation forms. 

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Campus Specific Community Engagement

Primary School

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The Primary School introduces children to the joys of giving and the responsibility we share in helping members of our immediate, as well as our global community. Curricular engagement ranges from reading appropriate empathic literature to participation in classroom activities designed to empower students to affect caring actions and change.

The Primary School has a partnership with Toni’s Kitchen, a soup kitchen in our neighborhood. Students walk to Toni’s to do service on multiple occasions during their Primary School years. 

Each year, the third graders perform a bell concert at Senior Care during the winter holidays. They enjoy playing games and making art with the seniors. The third grade culminating social studies unit, Agents of Change, provides third grade students the opportunity to become activists for a cause about which they are passionate.

All Primary School students participate in an all-school service project as part of the bi-annual Thanksgiving Share.

Throughout the grades, a curricular foundation is provided by the Primary School faculty to support the work of the PAMKA Community Outreach representatives in the execution of outreach projects, such as the annual Food Drive and Giving Tree. All community engagement curriculum is designed to lend authenticity and meaning to actions taken by Brookside's Caring Cougars.

Middle School

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Community Engagement is a significant part of the lives and education of all Middle School students. Through the advisory program, students develop their awareness of the world and the role they can play in fostering positive change through service. Each grade level participates in a community engagement project.

Fourth-grade students coordinate and carry out the Middle School’s recycling efforts by recycling paper for the building. Fifth-grade students share homemade gifts and their diverse talents with residents of the Montclair Inn, a nearby home for seniors.

Sixth-grade students vote to select a community need or problem that will be their focus through eighth grade. They do research and listen to speakers, who help them to better understand the issues involved, and they design projects to raise materials, funds and awareness in support of related charities. This culminates with eighth graders planning and organizing the annual M5KA run/walk for their chosen cause.

In addition to their service by grade level, Middle School students participate in school-wide community engagement projects, such as the Thanksgiving food drive and the faculty-student charity basketball game. Some also choose to take part in student-led service clubs.

Upper School

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At the Upper School, students are involved in myriad community service projects. From playing with autistic high school students and tutoring elementary students to organizing benefit concerts, assisting at the food bank and donating to various causes.  Students assume responsibility for initiating, supporting and furthering community service. Students can also join —and run—an after-school Community Service Initiative (CSI) that is meaningful to them.

CSI activities range from working on Habitat for Humanity building projects to serving at Toni's Kitchen to cleaning up New Jersey beaches. In addition, service trips such as those to Montana and Guatemala allow interested students to volunteer their time and skills.

During a fall service day, students in grade 9  and 10 assist various local nonprofits. Additionally, students in grades 11 and 12 participate in a formal community service program; they are required to complete and log a minimum of 10 hours of service to nonprofit organizations annually.