Community partnership is an integral part of the Middle School curriculum.
All students have the opportunity at different points during the year to go off campus and spend time creating connections to people in their larger community. The goal for our program is not only to help students become comfortable interacting with new people, but to deepen their understanding of who is in our larger community and some of the issues that can create inequity within that community. We want AFS graduates to leave the school wanting to actively engage in their next community, and our partnership program is part of that preparation.
As part of our newly designed approach to community service in the Middle School, students are able to choose from five categories: Arts, Poverty, The Environment, Health and Animal Welfare. "We want people working on projects they connect with and feel passionate about," says Social Studies Teacher Mark Smith. "We also want it to be a true service learning program in which students would not only connect with and contribute to the community but also learn new information and skills."
As well as connecting students with projects they feel strongly about, the new approach to service learning mixes up the grades, giving the children opportunities to connect across the Middle School age spectrum.