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French American International School’s Local to Global Service Learning is an integral part of the middle school curriculum. “The program’s goal is to encourage students to take an active role in the communities in which they live, thereby encouraging responsible citizenship and developing active, committed, and compassionate members of society,” noted Leslie Adams, Director of Student Activities, who oversees the middle school service program. Each grade has an overall theme from which to create their service projects: grade 6 is working with the Children of Haiti Project (COHP), grade 7 is focusing on the environment, and grade 8 is connecting with elders in the community.
Following a discussion about the values of our community and how students can live them on a daily basis, 8th graders kicked off their service learning projects at AgeSong, an eldercare community center here in Hayes Valley. During their first visit, they introduced themselves by singing holiday songs, meeting with residents, and learning the posture and technique of ballet from Collin, a talented international dance instructor. “Ballet was for the aristocrats, so hold your head up high, look me in the eye, and open your stance,” instructed Collin. And our students danced! “We are very happy to offer our students the opportunity to do meaningful volunteer work in our local community and play a more active role in our urban environment,” shared Middle School Principal, Fabrice Urrizalqui.
Over the next couple of months, 8th graders will visit AgeSong in smaller groups and spend time reflecting upon their experiences.