Gr. 4 Service Learning - Inclusion and Initiative
by Nasci Lobo, Director of Communications and Marketing
In the second year of the Gr. 4 service learning program welcoming the children from the Kofu Center Home for Children to campus, our students have developed initiative and leadership in organizing the visits, but more importantly, they have provided the visiting children and themselves a time for simple, childlike happiness.
Our Service Learning Program exemplifies what we believe about how we should treat each other. It also sustains the spirit of support and care for which the YIS community is known. The Gr. 4 program is a student-led initiative in which our students organize activities for the children of the Kofu Center here on the YIS campus. The visitors, usually 12 - 16 children from four to six years old, stay on campus for about two hours, enjoying a school lunch with their YIS friends and having fun in the activities planned by the Grade 4 students. A purpose is established for each visit; activities are designed by our students to meet the purpose, and skills are employed to run those activities successfully. Our students work as a class to plan and conduct the visit, and in the process learn a lot about themselves and their friends. Reflections are then posted on their Seesaw learning journals for parents to see, providing a prime opportunity for a family discussion in the car, or over dinner.
The purpose of the visits, from the students' point of view, is of course to have fun with each other. The reflection of one of our students, below, demonstrates well the simple feelings and sense of satisfaction that all the children get from the playful time they spend together. These realizations and perceptions develop character, empathy and a sense of belonging to a larger community; one in which the students can provide support and by which they can feel supported.
This is the sixth article in a series documenting the grade-specific and group activities of our service program. Learn more about our program on the Service Learning page.