Service Learning at St. Paul Prep

While freshman, sophomores, and juniors were taking the PSAT and Aspire tests on October 13, 68 seniors and six staff members spent a few hours packing meals at Feed My Starving Children. FMSC has been creating and distributing meals to kids in underserved areas since 1987, and has packed nearly two billion meals in that time.

IMG_9717

SPP has been involved with FMSC for the last few years as part of our Service Learning days, when students have a chance to have a positive impact on their community and the world by volunteering their time.

IMG_9733

This time around, the SPP crew packed 202 boxes of meals, which is enough to feed 120 kids for a year. The 43,632 meals will be distributed to starving kids around the world.

Great job seniors!!

IMG_9730

Advisor’s Angle: The Internet: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Janel Cook 2017crop.jpgBy Student Advisor Janel Cook

The Good
The internet provides many opportunities for people to communicate with one another via social networks, online games, phone calls, texting, etc. The aspects to this connectivity are the ability to easily contact friends and family who live in other states or countries, exposure to people and places across the world, and access to international news events as they are happening. Students can easily keep in contact with family and friends back home while living in the U.S.—and probably for free! This is a big change from years past when cell phones and internet did not exist, and phone calls made to other countries were very costly and rare.

The Bad
The internet, social networks, and online games are all ways that keep people engaged with their (sometimes multiple) electronic devices for hours a day, sometimes to a degree that is not healthy for the mind, body, or real life relationships.

Students who have constant contact with friends and family back home tend to be more homesick and not enjoy their time in America simply because they are not allowing themselves the time to build relationships here. If students choose to spend all of their free time on the internet instead of interacting with their Host Families and friends, this will interfere with having a successful exchange experience.

It is acceptable to use the internet, social networks, and online games occasionally as a stress reliever or as a social activity, but it is important to balance free time with other activities that are not dependent upon the internet.

The Ugly
Sometimes people forget that extra-curricular time online is a choice, because they begin to depend on checking or updating statuses, gaming with virtual friends, viewing pornography, etc. as determinants for personal happiness. These online habits become unhealthy (and verge on addiction) when daily life necessities such as: proper hygiene, eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, and exercise are frequently ignored. It can also be deemed unhealthy when students start to neglect and not put time and effort into real life relationships.

If someone begins to suffer physical pain (a sore neck, aching wrists, strained eyes, etc.) from excessive internet use/ gaming, it is safe to say that is not healthy and habits need to change in order to have a happier, healthier exchange experience.

Photo Gallery: Soccer’s 4-2 win Sept. 19

The St. Paul Prep soccer team came away with a 4-2 win over Liberty Classical Academy on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

Here are photos from the game!

Advisor’s Angle: All Americans Live in Mansions

Janel Cook 2017

By Student and Host Family Advisor Janel Cook

A stereotype is defined as a non-factual assumption about individuals or a group of people. Stereotypes can be positive or negative and can pertain to race, religion, gender, occupation, age, culture, and more.

Everyone around the world holds stereotypes to some degree. Some are conscious and some are subconscious. Many factors influence stereotypical thinking, including: culture, communities, religion, advertising, movies, TV Shows, music, celebrities, news, etc.

For example, some commonly held stereotypes about Americans are that we are loud and arrogant, we eat a lot of fast food (particularly McDonald’s and pizza), and everything in the U.S. is large compared to other countries (i.e. houses, streets, cars, yards, food portions, and people).

Pop Culture Collage

St. Paul Prep students are influenced by American pop culture well before they arrive on program. They have probably watched American films or TV shows, listened to American music, and read about American celebrities and/or politics. That exposure has most likely influenced their ideas of the United States as a whole.

One of our goals is to foster international understanding between cultures. Every student who decides to participate in one of our programs is deciding to live in the U.S., which means they will come face-to-face with the reality of life in the U.S., and therefore, with any stereotypes that they hold about Americans and the United States of America.

Host Families are in the same position. They volunteer to host a student from a specific country. The student arrives and perhaps it is different than expected. Ultimately, both sides are faced with the realities of each other and must learn to allow one another to be who they are as individuals. Sometimes reaching full cultural understanding takes a while, depending on how strongly assumptions are held by each party.

Cultural exchange is a wonderful opportunity for students, Host Families, and SPP staff to challenge what we think is true, which is an important factor in breaking down stereotypes. Through these experiences, we grow more knowledgeable to the realities of cultural exchange. What an enriching experience to share with one another!

What’s Your Specialty?

One big reason students choose St. Paul Prep is the opportunity to earn an American high school diploma, which makes acceptance to an American university that much easier. At SPP, we take things one step further.

Our students have the opportunity to choose a specialized diploma, meaning students take classes in a specific area. At SPP, we offer STEM, Visual Arts, Global Leadership, and International Business specialized programs. Below is a breakdown of what students can expect from each field of study.

STEM

 

SAMSUNG CSC

Want to master your critical thinking and problem solving skills? Already an expert in these areas? Then our STEM option is for you! This rigorous course of study will prepare students to succeed in a 21st century workforce, at college and beyond!

Featuring advanced classes in math, science, engineering, and technology, this diploma option is open to all students.

International Business

dav

This diploma specialization introduces students to the complexities and relationships between different countries’ political, economic, and business practices and policies. Courses in this diploma path look at everything from the impact of international business to ethics to import/exports.

The curriculum prepares students for university-level business courses, and gives our students a leg-up on the highly competitive and constantly changing global economic environment.

Visual Arts

 

Art Dimploma Presentation 007.JPG

Create products with a purpose with the Visual Arts diploma specialization. Featuring a studio, kiln, local and national art competitions, art lab, and an expansive art curriculum, our art program is a standout in the established art community in downtown St. Paul.

Open to students of all skill levels, this option assists students in preparing an art portfolio, help students discover new art mediums, and learn the history and techniques of different art forms.

Global Leadership

SAM_0377.JPG

The newest specialized diploma, the Global Leadership option provides students with an advanced look at oral and written language, cultural understanding, and the commonalities and differences throughout various cultures of the world.

This option prepares students for further studies at the university level in majors such as International Relations, Diplomacy, Education, and more. The Global Leadership special diploma gives students a head start on success in a global society.

Camp Tanadoona

We hope you’ve had a great summer, but it’s almost that time of year again: school. While that means homework, tests, and the like, it also means another thing here at SPP: CAMP!

IMG_1116.JPG

A tradition that goes back many years at St. Paul Prep, our start-of-the-year overnight camp is just as important as testing day for new students! Since our student body changes so dramatically with each new school year, this camp is designed to bring students and teachers together to break the ice and get to know each other better.

IMG_1122.JPG

Located on the shores of Lake Minnewashta, Camp Tanadoona features 100 acres of woods, trails, and fun!

Beachfront

This year, students will have the chance to participate in many fun activities, from swimming and boating to soccer, frisbee golf, and so much more! It’ll be just like the classic American camp experience you’ve seen in the movies, only with your classmates and teachers!

IMG_0254.JPG

If you want more information, check out the Camp Tanadoona website!

We’re excited. We hope you are too! See you soon, Falcons!

img_0318.jpg

Wanna Blog?

Are you a current or soon-to-be St. Paul Preparatory School student? Do you enjoy taking pictures, writing, or making videos? Want to share the awesomeness that is St. Paul Prep with the rest of the world?!

WE WANT YOU!

If you’re looking for a creative, fun way to document your time at SPP, let us know! We’re seeking a new batch of student writers for the SPP Blog for the upcoming semester/year!

Want to know more about this opportunity? Message us on Facebook or Instagram, or send an email to skoob@nacelopendoor.org and let us know you’re interested!

Not sure if it’s for you? Check out some posts (here, here, here, here) by Valeria from Venezuela, who wrote for the SPP Blog last spring.