Service learning is an integral part of life at The Country School, where students are encouraged to look beyond themselves to serve their communities and the larger world. The service learning program at The Country School has four specific goals: to engage every child in community service projects, to ensure that students understand why service is important, to allow students to see the fruits of their labor, and to provide students the opportunity to reflect on their service.
Each year, the school carries out a series of initiatives; some are school-wide, while others are planned and carried out by smaller groups. In the Middle School, students select a project, and time is set aside for students and advisors to review and plan activities required to support their cause. Upon completion, students reflect on their efforts and how they felt about performing them. In the Lower School, specific classes or grades organize service learning initiatives based on the group’s desire to serve a cause or need.
Initiatives have ranged from a school-wide, student-led project to raise funds for the construction of a well in rural Uganda to creating and delivering May baskets to residents of an area nursing home. Students have held fundraisers to support disaster relief in regions across the globe and organized a local bike ride to raise funds for cancer research.
Below, students at the Odingoi Primary School in Uganda celebrate their new well, a project spearheaded by Country School students working with Call to Care Uganda.
Some projects are on-going. For more than 10 years, Country School families have volunteered each month to prepare and serve dinner at a local soup kitchen. Students also coordinate canned food drives for area food pantries and service agencies on a regular basis.
From The Country School Mission Statement:
We encourage our students to look beyond themselves, to work cooperatively with others, and to serve their communities and the larger world.