Elementary School Service Learning

Service Learning in the Elementary School works closely with the programs in the Middle School and High School. The goal is to build a cohesive program in which the learning of our youngest students may be tracked through our oldest students. The Service Learning program strives to make students aware of the issues that surround them at a local and global level. Each grade level will work closely with a specific organization. Some of these are related to those of the MS and HS; however, some were proposed by faculty members and TASIS families. Each year, students will be able to experience different service work and their level of involvement will deepen.

Examples of Elementary School Service Learning Projects

Pre-K works with Post Pals, a UK-based charity that brightens the lives of terminally ill children by sending cards and letters. The Pre-K team has their students bring back postcards from their travels and then write notes of encouragement, support, and friendship to sick children identified by the charity. Pre-K students also make homemade holiday cards to sell at the Christmas market and donate the proceeds to Save the Children.

Kindergarten collaborates with the HS Serving Africa group. They host the High School students in their classrooms and help the older students prepare for the teaching they will do on their global service trip to Zambia. Kindergarten students also focus on the role of medical care in countries throughout Africa, using the book Mimi’s Village to learn about this topic.

Grade 1 partners with the High School global service group Hope and Homes for Children Romania. They hold a clothing drive to collect items for the HS students to take with them on their trip in June. Using geography skills, 1st grade students find Romania on a map and explore differences between Romania and Switzerland. This gives students an opportunity to expand their worldview and practice the ES CARES skills—especially cooperation and empathy.

Grade 2 learns about the huge impact that small microloans can have on a community, using the book One Hen. The story tells of a boy who buys a hen with a microloan and then earns money by selling its eggs. This money enables him to afford to go to school. The 2nd graders put microloans into action by borrowing money from the school to create crafts, toys, books, and other small goods. These goods are then sold at a market. After paying back the loan, all additional proceeds are donated to charity.

Grade 3 visits a local toy hospital, Ospedale del Giocattolo, to see how this charity fixes broken toys to donate to children in need. Students are able to take part in repairs as well. After visiting the charity, the 3rd grade organizes donation bins to encourage students to donate old, broken, or unwanted toys. These toys are then given to the Ospedale del Giocattolo, where they are given new life and donated to less-fortunate children.

Grade 4 learns about the importance of composting and reducing food waste to reduce pollution in water, air, and on land. The 4th grade works with the TASIS kitchen staff to learn how they prepare meals and deal with food waste as a school. Students weigh and track food waste in the Hadsall cafeteria to encourage others not to waste food and learn how to compost that food waste. Students also plant and take care of a garden using the compost created by last year's 4th grade.

Grade 5 works with Unitas, a local association for the blind and visually impaired. Students meet visually impaired individuals to learn about their experience of the world without sight. Then the students make sensory blankets for visually impaired children to sit on and tactile booklets to help them understand the characteristics of different places in the world. (For example, the characteristics of a lake could be described as cold, wet, deep, waves, fish, swan, etc.) These are then donated to Unitas.

In addition to the books provided at various grade levels, students now have access to many Service Learning books in the Elementary School libraries to help them further explore these and other topics. Our goal in the ES is to build a foundation for success in the High School's Opsahl Global Service Program.

Please contact ES Service Learning Coordinator Laurent Carsana for more information.