This year, Grade 6 students have been introduced to a new component called Mini Service Projects. Developed as a precursor to the Service as Action (SaA) in Grade 9, these service projects give students the opportunity to explore their creativity and apply it in a meaningful way to benefit the larger community.
Presently, students have been spending an hour per week planning, investigating and implementing a service project. They have free reign on the choice of their projects. The only thinking points provided to shape their approach are: What can I do to make the world a better place, How can I engage, What problems can I solve, and where can I contribute to what already exists.
Emma and Ella from 6B, for example, are spray painting the benches in the outdoor courtyard in FIS 1. “In the winter especially, the trees have shed their foliage and the setting is very dark and dull. We thought we could add some color to make the area more cheerful and welcoming,” Ella explains the motivation behind their choice of project.
Other projects range from saving wildlife and energy conservation to collecting leftover food for people in need.
Students learn to put their ideas into practice: what do they need, where do they start, what tools are needed, how to plan such a project in the first place, whom to involve to make it successful, etc.
“I’m learning so much about time management and the importance of team collaboration,” Emma says.