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Lower School

At the heart of our mission is a commitment to create prepared, confident citizens of the world. The Isdell Center for Global Leadership (ICGL) spearheads this educational endeavor by providing students in Pre-First through 12th grade with wide-ranging curricular and co-curricular opportunities to explore, understand and engage in our globalized world.

In addition to approximately 17 annual global study tours available to students in all three divisions, every student explores an annual global theme—Climate, Conservation, Energy, Waste, Health, Education, Technology, etc.—through multiple disciplinary lenses: Science & Technology, Arts & Culture, Service & Sustainability, Business & Social Entrepreneurship and Public Policy & International Relations. This theme-based approach gives students the opportunity to tackle real-world issues while developing global-mindedness, cultural competence, international expertise and leadership skills—all essential components of global citizenship. Our students graduate with the ability to address national and international issues critically, as well as with a sense of visionary purpose to make a positive difference in our interdependent world.

Recent study tours have traveled to Australia, Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, Iceland, Fiji, the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Portugal, Ghana and Botswana, Greece, Patagonia, Morocco, Kenya, Costa Rica, South Africa, Japan and various destinations throughout the United States. The Pace Parents Club’s Citizens of the World Travel Grant covers the cost of airfare once for every student in the Middle School, and once for every student in the Upper School. In a typical year, 200+ students travel on ICGL study tours.

ICGL Programming in the Lower School

The goal of the ICGL in the Lower School is to build awareness of global issues while introducing students to myriad cultures, perspectives and problem-solving skills. Students are encouraged to be resourceful, resilient, empathetic and creative.

The Lower School ICGL experience includes:

  • Character education
  • Community-engagement opportunities
  • Design Thinking instruction
  • Coding development and policy simulation programs
  • Global school partnerships
  • After-school entrepreneurship programs
  • Partnerships with universities, Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, World Wildlife Fund, 100 People and other organizations
  • Study tours with a focus on Spanish-language immersion and community engagement occur after the fifth-grade year.

Community Engagement

In the Lower School, Pace students develop an understanding of community engagement through grade-level themes and partners. The Community Engagement program brings age-appropriate community partners to campus, coordinates service projects throughout the year, and facilitates curricular implementation for each grade’s community engagement theme.  We work with the Noble Knights program, the Lower School Design Thinking, and Lower School faculty to support learning around empathy and innovation in connection to global issues.  

Community Engagement themes by grade:

Pre-First: Environment
First Grade: Animals
Second Grade: Healthcare
Third Grade: Food
Fourth Grade: Homelessness & Housing
Fifth Grade: Education

Community Engagement Partners

Pace students connect with and support the work of the following local nonprofits through community-engagement clubs, site-based events, drives and on-campus engagement.

• Atlanta BeltLine Partnership
• Blue Heron Nature Preserve
• Trees Atlanta
• Wylde Center

• Canine Assistants
• Furkids
• Lifeline Animal Project

• American Red Cross
• Anioma Alliance
• Atlanta Ronald McDonald House
• Helping Mamas
• Make-A-Wish
• Miracle Knights
• Pace Against ALS

• Atlanta Community Food Bank
• Compassion Kitchen
• Hope Atlanta
• Meals on Wheels
• Second Helpings Atlanta
• Urban Recipe

• Ansley School
• Covenant House Georgia
• First Presbyterian Church
Community Ministries
• Habitat for Humanity
• Intown Collaborative Ministries
• Lost-n-Found Youth
• Zaban Paradies Center

• At-Promise Youth Center
• Agape Community Center
• Books for Africa
• Easter Seals North Georgia
• Ellis Center
• La Amistad
• Inspiredu

• Amnesty International
• Bloom Closet
• E-Nable Community
• Swim Across America
• The Giving Grace
• PawKids