At St. James, we believe that we can save the world, we just have to do it one village at a time.
— SJL Student (TBD)
Several years ago we decided that we wanted our children to truly act as global citizens , and we began to revamp the way we approached service projects in our school. Several of our teachers had intensive training with Partnerships Make A Difference. This organization trains and guides teachers to design service learning projects that are imbedded in the curriculum, are standards based, and encourage initiative, problem solving, and leadership. Our teachers designed a program that would be led by our middle school children. Students would look at service projects and people who made a difference in their local community and globally, they would narrow the focus and research a problem. The final phase would be spent fundraising and interacting with the chosen people and project.
Through authentic Service Learning, our students have been involved in raising funds over the years to help the following areas:
- Helping a fishing village in southeast Asia by helping to build a boat after the tsunami hit.
- Furnishing a dormitory for orphans in Nairobi, Kenya.
- Supplying 15,000 meals for senior citizens in Chili.
- Providing kitchen supplies and an industrial stove to help purify water in a village in Peru.
- Building houses in El Salvador.
- Working with A Kid Again in Columbus to help terminally ill children.
- Helping with Run the Race program in Columbus, OH.
Student reflections showed their understanding of the issues surrounding the crisis and how they could make a difference.