Service is an integral part of TASIS, inspiring students to think beyond themselves and assume active roles in improving society. The Service Learning Program reflects the School’s overall commitment to encouraging sound human values alongside academic excellence.
In the Middle School, Service Learning teaches students leadership, organizational, and citizenship skills while they help the local community. The program helps students develop a sense of independence, a strong work ethic, and an awareness in the necessity and value of service.
Middle School Service Learning is integrated into the weekly schedule, and students are graded on their effort.
Students use art to engage and teach a variety of people in need about the joy of creativity. Using a variety of visual arts materials, students make connections with others as they create meaningful artwork. Together they discover the strengths of both individuals and how these strengths can be combined to create something magical. Students do not need to be artists but should enjoy being creative through the visual arts.
Environmental Club (E-Club)
Environmental Club concentrates on making the School a more conscious and environmentally-aware community. Students learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling helps eliminate waste and save money, energy, and natural resources. Once a week, the group recycles paper from all Middle School classrooms and offices. In addition, they explore green alternatives such as edible cutlery and examine how various sustainable solutions could be implemented at TASIS.
Random Acts of Kindness
Students learn about the nature of being kind and compassionate and how these characteristics make our campus and the world a positive place for all people. A goal of the group is to teach students how individual actions can positively impact people and how random acts of kindness can build confidence, compassion, and character. Monthly themes are associated with various kindness activities that take place in the classrooms and around campus.
Located in Como, Cometa is an association of families that has created a special community dedicated to providing a better life for the less fortunate. The community features a sports association and an art school. Group members become familiar with this organization by meeting the group leaders and discovering why service is important to them. Members are involved in a variety of projects, from presenting the group and its work at a TASIS assembly to creating posters for the organization. Other activities include helping to organize events, fundraising, and visiting Cometa. Students learn the impact that service can have on the lives of people. They also learn that even the smallest gesture can make someone else’s life better.
Terre des Hommes
Terre des Hommes is a Swiss organization focused on providing distressed children with immediate and direct aid. It focuses on the sustained improvement of life for children in need both in Switzerland and beyond. TASIS participates in three to four activities per year with the organization and studies the role of individuals to societies in need, including discussions about social laws and communication. Students learn and spread the value of compassion to our community.
Mission Bambini is a charitable organization based in Italy whose mission is to help and support children living in poverty, sickness, or without education, giving them the opportunity and hope of a better life. The group travels to Milan to help improve the quality of impoverished school buildings and classrooms, as well as engages directly with fundraising efforts for Mission Bambini. Throughout the year, students learn the importance of empathy and gain a deeper understanding for those living in poverty both locally and globally.
Athletics teaches the value of hard work, fair play, and sportsmanship. It encourages respect for the self, teammates, teachers, and coaches, as well as opponents on the playing field. Participation in sports also demonstrates how perseverance overcomes adversity. This year, the Poverty Awareness Group is working in conjunction with the One World Futbol Project, an organization that provides durable soccer equipment to children in disadvantaged communities around the world, particularly those affected by war, natural disasters, and poverty. The group hopes to gain a better appreciation of the virtue of Vision as they work towards a future in which all children can use their love of sports to connect, heal, rebuild, and dream.
Students explore, discuss, and research many of the fundamental issues that impact people all over the world. Some of these include poverty, access to education, gender equality, ethical purchasing, and public health/disease prevention. Through discussion, news analysis, interviews, and presentations, students deepen their understanding and raise awareness about organizations that are working to combat these problems. Students recognize that in addition to the responsibilities they have to their own countries, everyone shares the responsibility of improving human conditions around the world. Students have opportunities to extend their study of these issues through visits to several important organizations: The Red Cross and Crescent Museum, the UN, the World Trade Organization, and the International NGO area in Geneva. Students who choose this Service Learning group will participate in a trip to Geneva to visit the UN in spring 2017.
Students engage in activities to explore lifestyles that reduce their impact on the environment to preserve the balance of Earth’s ecological cycles. Students learn about ways to reduce consumption of natural resources by cutting energy and carbon, tackling waste, recommending sustainable construction, and encouraging ethical buying. The group builds a model sustainable village (2m x 2m) that illustrates the various alternatives available, such as new technologies, and shows how individuals can make a positive social and economic impact within a community. Students also make an assessment of waste on campus and look into ways to drive change in culture and attitude in organisations.
Student-Created Performing Arts
Middle School students create a performance or series of small interactive performances that entertain, engage, and teach local students about cooperation, teamwork, music, and everyday happiness. Together they discover and encourage the strengths of individuals in the group to create a collaborative service to others. Students do not need to have any prior knowledge or skills in music, singing, or performing to take part.
This group focuses on using students’ individual skills, strengths, and ideas to contribute to successful event planning. They host events for their Middle School peers and the Elementary School, working as a team to execute these events smoothly and troubleshoot any complications. Students gain organizational and leadership skills, and they also learn about the importance of service to others and their community.
Student Council includes 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders who are elected by their peers. The group is responsible for creating positive connections between students and faculty along with raising the profile of the Middle School at TASIS. They organize events and assemblies including Family Weekend, Shadow Day, and the Spirit Games. Students have the opportunity to make changes in the Middle School and serve as the voice of their peers. They also develop their leadership, communication, and IT skills.
Mother Tongue Reading Buddies (open to grades 7–8)
This group serves the Elementary School community. Middle School students are paired with ES students with a shared mother tongue, fostering relationships through reading stories with one another. As older role models, the MS students find age-appropriate stories to share with their buddies throughout the year and plan activities for the groups to do together.
Peer Leaders (open to grades 7–8)
This group works with the Elementary School community. It allows our older students the opportunity to develop and practice leadership skills while working toward creating positive change in the social and cultural environment of the school. The students work with the group leaders throughout the first semester to develop a series of age-appropriate lessons on issues relevant to their younger peers (grades 2–5). The particular issues are chosen by the group using their own ideas and suggestions from the leaders and the ES Faculty. They then work in smaller groups to develop specific lessons where they plan both the content and method of delivery. During second semester, the small groups deliver a series of six weekly lessons. The final weeks of the semester are used to reflect and evaluate the activities and their success.
For more information, please contact MS Service Learning Coordinator MJ Breton.