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Live, Learn and Serve

Friday, 2 November, 2018

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”  -  Mahatma Gandhi

Service Learning is the giving of precious time to others and, also thinking deeply about that experience. This exchange between the volunteer and the recipient is more and more becoming a feature of how we learn at BBIS.

Service Action is ever present in the Primary Years with penny drives and canned food collections to name a few. In the Middle Years, Service Learning has gathered new meaning with authentic local service projects forming part of the timetable in grades 6 through 8.  Students embarking on the Career and Diploma Programs just launched their 18 months of service with a whole day event where 13 local organisations explained what they do and how to support them.


The big Service Learning event, on September 24th, saw about 280 students from the Berlin IB schools gather on the Seeberg. This was the first truly collaborative event on such a scale between these six IB schools. The day started with introductions in the Sports Hall and short speeches from 2 collaborating CAS coordinators and one student. Next, students, in mixed school groups, learned about six of the 13 volunteer organisations that were invited to the event. The aim of the day was for every student to match his or her passion to that of a volunteer organisation.  Act local, think global was very much part of the reason for holding this special event. Habitat for Humanity students were able to hold a massive combined BBQ and bake sale during lunch in order to raise funds. Over all, the day was a great success and we hope to start next year with a similar event.

The next day, the grade 11 students got their hands dirty. Equipped with gloves, buckets and rakes, this Service Action afternoon focussed on the environment and students cleaned up parts of the Hakeburg forest.  At first, there was much grumbling, but soon conversations were overheard criticizing humans and how little respect there is for nature. Valuable Service Learning for all the volunteers that day.