Community and Service 1

Community Service

  • How do we live in relation to each other?
  • How can I contribute to the community?
  • How can I help others?

One of the main goals of the Baccalaureate School for Global Education’s Middle Years Program is the promotion of responsible citizenship that deepens students’ knowledge and understanding of the world around them.  Students are encouraged to make personal connections with their intellectual and social growth and what they can contribute to local and global communities.  This Area of Interaction reaches far beyond the classroom, fostering an awareness of international social realities, reinforcing the importance of community as well as recognition and respect for human rights.

Community and Service develops:

  • Sensitivity to the needs of the community and society in general
  • Awareness of the role of the individual within a community
  • A willingness and the skills to respond to the needs of others
  • An unselfish attitude which enriches the life of the student through enhanced insight into different social patterns and ways of life
  • Intercultural awareness, encouraging respect, empathy and understanding for all people regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, class, sexual orientation, nationality and/or physical disability

Students participate in interactive activities that engage them in constructive and positive action working in diverse social and cultural environments.  These activities will enhance their education at BSGE and enrich their lives socially, politically and culturally.  Students engage in developmentally appropriate activities over 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades.

The Baccalaureate School for Global Education requires students in the Middle Years program to complete 100 hours of Community and Service.  Students who later enter the diploma program are expected to fulfill 150 hours of Creativity, Action and Service during their junior and senior years.  In order to receive credit, all activities and volunteer service must be approved by Peter Wilson.

Central Elements of Community and Service in the Middle Years Program

  • Awareness
  • Involvement and Service
  • Reflection

Community Awareness:

Before students can participate in activities in relation to their respective community and the global community, they must develop an awareness of what community is on varying levels.

Fundamental Questions:

  • What does community mean?
  • What makes a community?
  • How are communities similar?
  • How are they different?
  • What is my role in my school community?
  • What is my role in my local community?
  • What is my role in the global community?
  • How can I make a positive change in these communities?

Through BSGE’s curriculum and school activities outside of the classroom, students will be given opportunities to develop an awareness of different communities and their needs.  Students will begin to recognize their own strengths and interests, developing ways they can contribute positively and practically in their respective communities.  Teachers are all responsible for the integration of Community and Service by stimulating awareness and helping students develop their Approaches to Learning skills.

Community Involvement and Service:

Through an increased and substantive awareness of community issues and challenges, students should develop a desire to respond to these needs and challenges in a responsible and sincere way.  The student will see himself/herself as an active agent of change, increasing levels of responsibility and action.  At the same time, by encouraging students to use the talents and skills they’ve developed at school outside of the classroom, participants will also build self-esteem.  Students in BSGE’s Middle Years Program are required to become actively engaged in service activities individually and in groups.

Basic Principles:

  • Community and Service activities are a requirement of the MYP for all students.  These activities lead students through the stages of growth of awareness to responsible and meaningful autonomous action.
  • Each year BSGE students are engaged in a Community and Service based activity in order to encourage students to develop a positive response to community needs.
  • Activities chosen by students and accepted by BSGE as Community and Service should reflect the maturity level of the students and should respect their individual interests and preferences.
  • BSGE recognizes and celebrates students for their community involvement without awarding grades for Community and Service.

Reflection:

Reflection is an essential part of Community and Service.  It encourages a better awareness of local and global community needs as well as a stronger, more substantive level of response.  Through reflection, students can develop positive attitudes towards their activities in their respective communities.  Reflection also helps students become more aware of their strengths and challenges.  It allows BSGE staff to efficiently monitor the quality of Community and Service on individual and school-wide levels.

To monitor Community and Service at BSGE, students are required to complete Community and Service intake forms, recording their monthly activity hours as well as their total service hours for the semester or year.  Students must have their supervisor approve their calculated hours for each activity they participated in during the school year and, in some cases, during the summer.  Students are also required to complete a Community and Service reflection form for each activity, answering the following questions:

  • By participating in this activity, what did you learn about yourself?
  • What were the most valuable or rewarding aspects of this activity?
  • What did you find challenging or uncomfortable?  Why did it occur?
  • How might this experience change your life?
  • Would you recommend this activity to others?  Why or why not?

All Community and Service reflection forms require a supervisor’s signature.   A copy of both the intake and reflection form must be submitted to BSGE’s Community and Service coordinator, Peter Wilson.

 

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  1. Pingback: Understanding Community Service Hours « The BACC Rag

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