High School Service, Sustainability & Community Partnership - August 2019
Looking Back and Looking Forward
In the last article in June, we mused: ‘Summer is the time to recharge our batteries, but some will probably continue to practice sustainable living and service for others’. Yes, indeed! Some students and their families chose to engage with different service activities abroad while others volunteered right here in Malaysia, from the city environment of KL to the rainforests. Here is an email excerpt from a Grade 12 student who continued with their community partnership in July:
“Since Monday of this week, I have been coming to the Zotung Refugee Catholic Learning Centre (ZRCLC) to volunteer teaching. It has been a wonderful experience and I cannot wait for further experiences that I can build with these students over the next few weeks. Currently, I am teaching the Level 2 students from 10:00 am - lunch and Level 3 students from Lunch - 3:00 pm. I am teaching English and Math to both of the levels.
Throughout the experience, I realized how smart and bright these students are. It is truly a joy to see them enthusiastic to learn. Even now, they have a school library that is run by their own students and it is so great to see these students excited for the books to check out so that they can read in their homes.
In addition, these students cut out their yearbooks [that we made for them] and kept a photo of us in their bags and pockets! So on our first day, the students in L2 showed me the photos of our ISKL volunteers and asked about how everyone was doing. They asked about their ‘individual teachers’. Many of the students kept asking when the ISKL facility will open and told me that they really want to come visit again. It emphasized to me of how fun and valuable of an experience they are having through our service in Key Club.”
Through this close interaction, the student not only got to know the ZRCLC students and teachers better, but was also able to gather first-hand information on what and how they are learning, and what they need in order to enhance their learning. This will be taken up by the community partnership club this year.
So, what is in store for Service and Sustainability this new school year? We will have our first tree planting outing scheduled on August 24, 2019. HS Club Fair will take place on August 20, 2019, during which students can sign up for different Service and Sustainability clubs. Community recycling and composting will continue once a month, and the HS Gardening Club is planning to expand its planting areas on campus. If you have any questions regarding the HS Service and Sustainability Program, please feel free to contact us - Amy Popovich (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Chika Kumashiro-Wilms (email@example.com). You can also stop by our office between Pretz n’ Beanz and the Busing Office on the ground floor. If you have any opportunities to invite others to join or need to procure some material on behalf of groups in need, then post your items on the Service Channel.
We are off to a wonderful start of the new academic year! Let us continue to reach out to each other and to others to work together, and be proactive and caring members of our various local and global communities. ~ HS Service & Sustainability Team | August 16, 2019
Planning for the Year
On August 22, 2019, twelve community partnership groups came together to plan for the year. The first task they had to do was to create a metaphor for community partnership. This could have been about their role or the actual work to build a partnership. These ranged from ‘smartphone’ to ‘lemonade’ to ‘distant uncle’ to ‘house’. Metaphors capture the insights and impressions of our perception and understanding, and we discussed the ‘dark side’ of them as well for self-reflection. The student leaders and their advisors discussed activities and ways to strengthen our community partnership for this school year. The new school nurse also came and worked with the groups that could use some health-related tips. One of them is Tasputra Perkim that works with people who have cerebral palsy and other kinds of medical conditions. The other ones are the Special Children’s Society of Ampang (SCSOA) with people who have Down Syndrome and autism, and Kids4Kids visiting young cancer patients at the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Our community partnership is expanding to cover the inclusion of people with special needs. Kids4Kids also plans to work with orphans, and we will look forward to learning more about their situation in Malaysia and in other countries. These weekly meetings offer us a lot of real-world insights. If we train our eyes to look for different issues of global significance, we see that many of them are around us in our local contexts. With so many students, faculty, staff, and parental involvement and commitment, we are looking forward to another year of dynamic and developing community partnership! ~ HS Service & Sustainability Team | August 22, 2019