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International School of Denver


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Service Learning Starts at Home

Service Learning Starts at Home

The best learning our children can ever have is with you. Our mission to create global citizens who are inter-culturally adept and make positive contributions in a complex world is steeped in our rich blend of immersion and International Baccalaureate education. The underpinning relies on a strong home/school partnership, allowing students to expand on a foundation of values and principles that yoke our community to a shared vision to create a more compassionate and curious world.

Service learning is an aspect of an IB education that offers students the hands-on ability to contribute to the world around them, bridging together both academic and practical skills. Service learning is often first observed at home in the initiatives most important to you.

We are so proud to be part of a global community showing up in some incredible ways in Denver.

Helping our most vulnerable neighbors in Denver

Lyndsay Koch has been part of the ISDenver community for well over a decade. Now mom to two alums with her youngest, Leo, in 7th grade, she joined ISDenver when her oldest, Xavier, started in the K2 French Program.

If you don’t know Lyndsay, her name is probably is probably familiar to you. You’ll often see Lyndsay’s name in the Community section of E-News. She is a do-gooder, influencing change through action in the world around us. 

I read about another study that found that people in the United States who were asked to spend time on activities that they believed would make them happier actually experienced a decrease in happiness. This was in contrast to people in Japan, India, and Germany, who all experienced an increase in happiness after engaging in similar activities.  In the United States, there is a strong emphasis on individualism and self-promotion, which may lead people to focus on activities that benefit themselves, such as buying material possessions or getting massages. In contrast, the other countries studied have more collectivist cultures, which may lead people to focus on activities that benefit others, such as volunteering or spending time with family and friends.

-Lyndsay Koch

This led Lyndsay to believe that, within the global community here at ISDenver, we could impact change by banding together to not only help others in need but to increase our own collective happiness in the process. She put the word out (including through E-News) and a group of 12 families came together. The team includes current families, alumni, and faculty.

The Koch, Pankrat, Bruns, Modisett/Lander, Thibeault, Runchey, Sheehan, Sterling, Pettigrew/Sanchez, Fiegel, Cowan, Bergmann & Raushenbush families are partnering with the African Community Center of Denver (ACC) to support a refugee family, new to the Denver Community. The ACC is a local refugee resettlement agency with a mission of helping refugees and immigrants rebuild safe, sustainable lives. They welcome families fleeing persecution from all over the world, from countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, and many others.

We are so lucky to live in a country from which we do not have to flee for our safety, and we would like to help a family who is brave enough to emigrate, feel welcome in Denver.  We are a group of families with united hearts: opening our doors and our community to a refugee family.

We want to lead by example and show our children empathy and solidarity through action. They have been raised in a privileged environment, and are not fully aware of what hardships some families have to endure…

-Lyndsay Koch

Over the next few months, the group will focus on settling a refugee family new to Denver in their home, including all of the aspects of “nesting.” They’ll be calling upon a larger group of volunteers to come alongside them in their efforts to help someone in need while also increasing their own happiness quotient.

Learn more!


VenCo Arepas: Made with Love, For Love

Katrina Norris joined our community this year as mom to a K1 Spanish student. Norris opened her heart and her home in the most practical and nourishing of ways. With more than 36,000 new Venezuelan refugees in Denver, we find ourselves in a snare of a humanitarian crisis within the red table of many complex issues, including a delay of work permits. To help give a livelihood to families immediately that will offer them both dignity and a way to earn a way to pay expenses, Norris offered up her kitchen for the preparation of aerepas, a traditional Venezuelan dish.

Learn more and order aerepas here!


These are just a few of the countless ways our community is serving our neighbors both locally and globally. We are proud to be a part of a dynamic, global community making a difference in the world around us. At Viva el Dragón in May, you’ll get to see firsthand the inspiring 8th-grade service learning capstone projects.



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