Middle School Service Learning

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.

Middle School Service Learning Groups
Grade 6
Student-Created Visual Arts

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, students will explore green alternatives (such as edible cutlery) and will 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

Grade 7

Cometa
www.putocometa.org
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.

Heifer International
www.heifer.org
Students partner with Heifer International in its mission to "end world hunger and poverty and care for the earth." Students engage weekly in study guides and activities provided by Heifer International to deepen their understanding of various global issues. Through group discussion, the group chooses which program to support (e.g. donate an animal, support sustainable farming, or provide basic needs) throughout various fundraising activities. 

Music Therapy
Middle School students entertain and engage children by creating an interactive musical performance using ukuleles and drums. The intention of the performance is to create a positive and therapeutic space to help promote children’s development. Students do not need to have any prior knowledge or skills in music, singing, or performing to take part.

Grade 8

Beyond Your Continent
Students develop a deeper understanding and awareness about issues related to each continent, including oncepts of geography and the study of the world in which we live: its landscapes, people, places, and environments. This work fosters the understanding of physical processes within the context of places and regions—recognizing the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes, and environments across the world, and the links between them. The group considers the causes of differences and inequalities between places and social groups across the globe. Empowering students to be global citizens results in active participants in a world of change. We will also focus on the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals aimed to end poverty, combat climate change, and fight injustice and inequality.

The group will address some of the following issues: natural disasters (volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding), climate change, conservation, food production, water resources, education, gender equality, transportation, job availability, societal status, and governmental involvement.

Poverty Awareness
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.

World Issues
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 2018.

Sustainable Living
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 organizations.

Multiple Grade Levels

Event Planners (open to grades 6–8)
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 (open to grades 6–8)
Student Council includes students in grades 6–8 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.

Staff Appreciation (open to grades 6–8)
Every day our campus is maintained, fresh meals are planned and prepared for us, and our classrooms are cleaned. Who are those dedicated people working to keep our campus running so smoothly while we attend classes? This group focuses on raising awareness of the work of others that we so often take for granted. During the year, we learn about the various jobs that staff do on campus and organize different events to show appreciation for their work and raise the consciousness of others to show them kindness. 

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.