Community & Service
One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something
-Henry David Thoreau
Teachers, Parents, and Learners,
Though it has always been a part of the IB Middle Years Programme, this year we are going to put greater emphasis on community service at ISDenver. I am extremely excited about my new role as Community & Service (CAS) Coordinator. I look forward to working with all of you as well as our wonderful PTO service learning volunteers.
What is service learning?
Service learning is about providing your children with opportunities to make meaningful contributions to their community. This might take the form of a hands-on volunteer activity, such as planting a garden or forging a relationship with a community in need. However, service learning can also take the form of gaining awareness about an issue or doing real world problem solving.
What will community service look like at ISDenver?
Throughout the year, we will be providing numerous opportunities for our learners to volunteer. Many of these opportunities will take place outside of school and may require outside transportation and/or parental involvement. Though these events will always be voluntary, we will encourage both learners and parents to participate in these rewarding and meaningful activities.
We will also be providing service learning within our school day: everything from doing school improvement projects to forging working relationships between older and younger learners.
The goals of ISDenver service learning:
1. To offer age-appropriate service learning that is authentic and that ties in with our curriculum. Rather than having collection drives, where we are soliciting parents for random donations, our program is evolving towards more meaningful activities. For example, instead of just donating to a coat drive, our learners can organize a coat drive, research the needs of homeless populations or volunteer in a homeless shelter.
Instead of just bringing in canned goods, our learners can undertake research and put together a brochure about nutrition.
2. To explore the difference between sympathy and empathy. In other words, rather than simply feeling sorry for those we are helping, we will guide our learners towards exploring and understanding what needs all of us have in common.
3. To guide learners towards finding philanthropic causes that they are passionate about. While our 8th graders will already be doing this as part of their community projects, all of our MYP learners will start working toward this end.
4. To nurture our learners as they turn their ideas into action and forge connections with local and global communities. Here at ISDenver, we believe that community service benefits everyone involved.
Of course I cannot speak about community service without thanking all of you for already being such fabulous and supportive members of our ISDenver community and family. Here’s to a wonderful year ahead.
6th grade Language and Literature Teacher
“In all our contacts, it is probably the sense of being really needed and wanted which gives us the greatest satisfaction and creates the most lasting bond.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.” -David Viscott