ISS service projects to support those in need
Our students care
A few weeks ago, I walked into my 6th grade classroom ready to teach English. However, two large grocery boxes overflowing with cans and packaged food caught my eye. The students explained that it was for a food drive. I had not even heard about this particular service project yet, and the class had already collected two heaping boxes full of food! This was not the first time that students at this school have impressed me with their desire to help others.
This year, the ISS student council was inspired by the school’s fair trade initiative. The proceeds from November’s Fun Run benefited fair trade, as does the current Secret Santa project, featuring a fair trade chocolate Santa. It is a lot of work switching to fair trade, but student council president Francisco understands the big picture of supporting others. He hopes that, “one day, the school’s service trip could include travel to one of the countries where they are producing the food for our school.”
It is no wonder that ISS students are so engaged in service. In order to receive an IB diploma, students must demonstrate that they have completed certain requirements in the CAS program, which stands for Creativity, Activity, and Service. Students have to research causes that interest them and reflect upon them. The hope is that they might discover a need that they could continue to support throughout their lives.
Here are just a few of the current CAS projects happening at ISS:
World AIDS Day
When 11th grade student Franzi learned that every day in Cologne three new people are infected with HIV, she knew that she had to act. Franzi and her classmates were determined to create awareness about this issue. They spoke to homerooms, collected money, and passed out ribbons on world AIDS day.
Warm Clothing and Blanket Drive
Other students researching for their CAS project discovered that the SKM center in Cologne Ehrenfeld was in need of warm clothing, sleeping bags, and blankets. They set up a collection for these items so that the SKM center can better serve the homeless this winter.
Habitat for Humanity
A small group of CAS students have been raising money to participate in a service trip such as Habitat for Humanity over the past two years. They have held bake sales, a movie night, and other activities involving the younger grades. These CAS students want to help others not only by donating money but also their time.
All Ages Care
While the CAS program officially starts in 11th grade, it is clear that all ages at ISS are interested in helping others. Grade 5 recently wrote recipes for a better world, which included plans on how to clean up the ocean, stop air pollution, and end bullying. Almost every recipe included heaps of love, patience, and caring as key ingredients. All of these are skills that we are trying to instill in our students at ISS.
If you would like to donate to any of the school’s current service projects, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you with the student responsible. Last but not least, I leave you with some wise words from our students:
“Our goal is to make the world a better place.” – Lino
“Always help those who cannot help themselves.” – Kyla
Cherie Parenteau, International Secondary School