Service Learning groups have been very active their first couple of meetings and are mostly investigating their chosen interests for meaningful service opportunities. A few updates from the groups can be seen below:
- The Community Kitchen ASA is planning an initial visit to the orphanage that they will cook for so they can ask questions about the children and learn more about their needs.
- The Community in Action ASA is exploring options for flood relief in the Mon State as well as making plans to visit the School for the Deaf to learn more about how they might best work together with the Deaf School community.
- The United World Schools (UWS groups - both primary and secondary) are investigating ways to make authentic reciprocal connections with the children and families of the Wan Kaung village where ISY is partnering with UWS to build a school in their village.
- The "Global" student led service learning news group is mapping out its first few articles. Get ready to read and learn the latest news about ISY Service Learning from Global!
- The Gardening Clubs (both primary and secondary) are investigating the types of flowers, veggies, and plants that they will grow in the new ISY Student Garden.
Another special treat for secondary students over the past two weeks has been an introduction to a new way of approaching service learning. It started with some inspiring stories and led into the "5 Stages of Service Learning" tools that will help the students of ISY make a positive difference in the world.
Service Learning and The Starfish Story
There is a famous quote from Aristotle that goes like this, "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." Service learning is a cornerstone of how we at ISY engage and develop the hearts and minds of everyone in our learning community in positive, beneficial ways. To encourage doing service learning from the heart, students in secondary were treated to a couple of stories that wove together the message that each of us has the ability to make a positive difference in the world. The stories came from both, a timeless (and anonymously written) story called, "The Starfish Story", and from a real-life experience that the new Service Learning Coordinator (Mr. Todd) had rescuing a sweet dog from a dangerous situation. These stories combined to illustrated how the wish to make a difference can become a reality for all of us, if we believe we can make a difference, and if we apply the right tools to make it happen.
The tools we are exploring can be found in the 5 stages of service learning and include investigation, preparation, action, reflection, and demonstration. The range of tools found within the 5 stages are very supportive to the process of identifying and taking meaningful action with authentic needs that we encounter through investigation. We are now developing a parent workshop about Service Learning at ISY, so please stay tuned for more to come from the desk of the Service Learning Coordinator!