Service Learning is an integral part of the entire TASIS curriculum, 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 helps students develop their 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 of 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 art 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.
The ES-MS Transition Service Learning group works with Middle School students to provide a smooth transition for our rising 6th-graders. The group will reflect on what the needs of the 6th-graders are and will plan information sessions and events for the 5th-graders. The goals will be to get to know each other, to make the 5th-graders excited about Middle School, to help them better understand the MS Program, and to ensure a smoother transition for their next adventure.
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 temporary adoption program, a sports association, and a school called "Liceo artigianale" where students learn manual jobs. 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 at least twice a year. The aim is that 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.
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 discussions, the students choose which program to support (e.g. donate an animal, support sustainable farming, or provide basic needs) throughout various fundraising activities.
The Green Heart Group
Students learn about important environmental issues associated with natural resources, health, and climate change, working together to raise awareness within our Middle School community with the aim of changing attitudes, promoting sustainability, and motivating people to be better environmental stewards. Various environmental topics will be discussed—such as climate change, pollution, plastic consumption, deforestation and water scarcity—and students have the opportunity to create awareness campaigns to highlight these concerns within our community.
The Poverty Awareness Group focuses on the nature and causes of poverty, chooses a specific community, studies the large and small environments in which that community exists, and works with a partner organization to explore ways for the students to make a difference. Last year the group choose one aspect of poverty (access to recreational and sports activities) and partnered with Gram Vikas in India to help children in a rural village. This year the group will discuss what aspects of poverty to focus on, choose a partner organization, study what poverty is and is not, and plan how students in the Middle School can learn and possibly help.
Students explore, discuss, and research many of the fundamental issues that impact people all over the world, including 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 in their own countries, everyone shares the responsibility of improving human conditions around the world.
Hope and Homes for Children
Hope and Homes for Children, Romania, is a new Service Learning group for 8th-grade students. The group will work with the Hopes and Homes organization, which works to improve the lives of children, orphans, and families in Romania. Students will learn about Romanian culture, its rich history, and the series of events that led to the current state of its child protection and welfare system—and then discuss what they can do to help. In the past, TASIS has raised funds to improve housing conditions for Romania's children's houses, and the group looks forward to keeping this partnership alive.
Environmental Saveurs dedicates itself to nurturing human relationships with the natural world. In other words, the group aims to develop a taste for and knowledge of how we as humans can participate in the natural world in more healthful and sustainable ways. Members of this group will educate themselves about environmental issues and share that knowledge with others in the TASIS community. Additionally, the group will seek to serve at the local and cantonal levels through organizations like ProNatura and in national and global events like Fridays for Future, the Extinction Rebellion, and Earth Day.
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, working as a team to execute these events smoothly and troubleshoot any complications. Students gain organizational and leadership skills while learning 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.
For more information, please contact MS Service Learning Coordinator MJ Breton.