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Service Families Projects

Monday, 7 November, 2016

Learning about how to help others and getting involved in projects that move a community forward is a very important part of growing up. It is not only a good experience for the people who we are helping, it also gives us a chance to grow. This is why we believe it is important to develop this area of our curriculum and to introduce some new elements to it, based on feedback we received from MYP students in a survey last year.

Recently, our grade 6 to 8 students have started working in their “Service Families” and we could see busy and very enthusiastic students helping in the garden or library or preparing to teach younger students how to use Scratch to programme computer games. One of the groups is also planning to set up a Little Free Library on the Seeberg. In case you would like to find out more about Service as Action, Ms Dodge, who has taken on the role of MYP Service as Action Coordinator for grades 6 to 10, will be happy to answer any questions during my Principal Coffee morning on the 30th November from 8.15 to 9.00 in the Cafeteria.

Service as Action (Lindsey Dodge – MYP Service as Action Coordinator)

This year we have several exciting additions to the Service as Action programme that are developmentally appropriate for the specific grade levels and conducive to the busy lives of our student body. Cultivating a culture of service at BBIS where students are engaged in authentic service is not only at the heart of the IB Programmes, but a key component to a child's social-emotional development. Students must complete three service projects (school, local, global) throughout the school year, and reflect on their growth and role in the world.

Grades 6-8: Service Families within the school community

 This month we kicked off the “Service Family” programme. Students were given a choice between ten diverse service projects taking place over the fall semester. These groups of like-minded students are serving together once a week, for seven weeks during school hours, with the goal of giving back by serving the community, advocating and informing the student body about their service, and reflecting on their role in the world. This age group enjoys helping and giving back, so we are providing them with a structure and time to ensure they are doing authentic service, which will help prepare them for grade 9-10 when they will need to be more independent.

Service Family Groups this semester:  

·     Working in the Primary School – participating in a buddy system (tutoring, reading, mentoring)
·     Sustainability/Environmental Project - garden maintenance/ indoor herb gardens
·     Playing music or performing at the Home for Senior Citizens Sen Vital
·     Bringing joy to local refugee children by creating games and donating used bikes and toys
·     Art as Activism – creating Murals with a Message
·     Building ‘Little Free Libraries’ for the local community
·     Creating literacy resources for a Refugee Organization in France
·     Library Assistants
·     Animal Advocates

Grades 9&10: Service in the community and classroom

We encourage Grade 9 & 10 students to find volunteer options that fit their schedule, talents, skills, and comfort level, but we also understand the time constraints, so we have introduced Service Learning and Service Club this year. Students need to complete three service projects throughout the year (school, local, global), but they have some options for how they can accomplish this goal. They can volunteer, do their service in groups, come to the Service Club’s weekend volunteer outings, or/and complete Service Learning within the classroom. They should do a variety of these options. Service Learning is taking a concept they have learned in school and turning it into a service project. For example; the 10th grade Design students are designing and building educational toys for the Primary School. They could also add a service component to their Personal Projects in 10th grade.

This is a very exciting chapter for Service as Action here at BBIS, and we look forward to seeing all the good service work that is happening documented on ManageBac and reading the students reflections about what they have learned from their service projects.