by Kelly Kramer, Secondary School Principal As Aristotle so eloquently stated, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” At C.I.C. we strive to support and educate our students so that they understand that education goes beyond what they discuss in class or analyze in their studies. Education is to develop a sense of connectedness to their community and a global society. This education starts with the heart, and just like academics, has no fixed end point. Just as a student continues to learn well after the bell rings and a diploma is awarded, so does the ability to learn and give from the heart. The IB also recognizes that service learning is as equally important for students as is the content that is being taught inside the classroom. The IB asserts on its website that “ The CAS requirement is a fundamental part of the programme and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies.”
The IB requirement of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) in the diploma programme and Community and Service (C&S) in the middle years programme aim to develop students who are:
reflective thinkers— they understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth
willing to accept new challenges and new roles
aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment
active participants in sustained, collaborative projectsbalanced
balanced—they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.
On May 2, 2014 the secondary school students at C.I.C, showed their commitment to service learning by engaging in various community service activities. The students were grouped by advisories, and were assisted by all of the secondary school teachers. The grade 12 students visited a retirement home. The seniors reported that they had a wonderful time playing bingo and conversing with the residents. Jishar and Elyssa were so excited to meet one lady who also spoke Dutch. Grade 11 students assisted in the elementary classrooms. Ernesto was seen sitting at a small table listening intently as a grade 1 student read to him. Kevin assisted the Pre-k class learn the letter k by making kites. Grade 10 students were seen outside the school gate, some on ladders, others standing, all meticulously painting the mural of the Avila. Grade 8 and 9 students were the heavy lifters for the day. Literally. They shoveled, carried and spread wheelbarrows and buckets full of compost to the newly bamboo-walled garden. Grade 7 was split into two groups, but with similar tasks — organizing equipment for Physical Education and Drama. Grade 6 spent their afternoon sorting, folding and organizing clothing donations to be given to the orphanage. The afternoon was incredibly productive, but the learning that took place was invaluable.
Student can help close to “home” or in far away places, but no matter where students choose to help, they make an immense impact with the sincerity of their words, the kindness of their actions and the thoughtfulness of their hearts. CIC students have shown that they are dedicated students in academic learning as well as service learning.
In the words of Anne Frank,
“How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to change the world.”