Service Learning is an integral part of the entire TASIS curriculum, inspiring students to think beyond themselves and assume active roles in improving society. The Service Learning Program reflects the School’s overall commitment to encouraging sound human values alongside academic excellence.
In the Middle School, Service Learning helps students develop their leadership, organizational, and citizenship skills while they help the local community. The program helps students develop a sense of independence, a strong work ethic, and an awareness of the necessity and value of service.
Middle School Service Learning is integrated into the weekly schedule, and students are graded on their effort.
Environmental Club (E-Club)
Environmental Club concentrates on making the School a more conscious and environmentally-aware community. Students learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling helps eliminate waste and save money, energy, and natural resources. Once a week, the group recycles paper from all Middle School classrooms and offices. In addition, they explore green alternatives such as edible cutlery and examine how various sustainable solutions could be implemented at TASIS.
Random Acts of Kindness
Students learn about the nature of being kind and compassionate and how these characteristics make our campus and the world a positive place for all people. A goal of the group is to teach students how individual actions can positively impact people and how random acts of kindness can build confidence, compassion, and character. Monthly themes are associated with various kindness activities that take place in the classrooms and around campus.
5th Grade Transition
The 5th Grade Transition group works to provide a smooth transition for our rising 6th graders. The group reflects on their own transition to 6th grade and plans information sessions and events for the 5th graders. The goals are to get to know each other, make the 5th graders excited about Middle School, help them better understand the MS program and expectations, and ensure a smoother transition for their next TASIS adventure.
The Green Heart Group
Students in The Green Heart Group aim to raise awareness among their peers about sustainability and environmental stewardship. The group discusses topics such as climate change, pollution, deforestation, individual carbon footprints, and relating our consumption back to the ‘Three R’s’ (reduce, reuse, and recycle). Over the academic year, the students have the opportunity to create awareness campaigns to highlight these concerns within our community. Projects include creating a digital infographic and a collaborative fundraising activity at the TPA Christmas Market where the money goes to a sustainable charity of their choice.
Located in Como, Cometa is an association of families that has created a special community dedicated to providing a better life for the less fortunate. The community features a temporary adoption program, a sports association, and school (Liceo artigianale) where students learn manual jobs. Students become familiar with the organization by meeting Cometa leaders and
discovering why service is important to them. Students are involved in a variety of projects, from presenting the group and its work at a TASIS assembly to creating posters for the organization. Other activities include helping to organize events, fundraising, and visiting Cometa at least twice a year. The aim is that students learn the impact that service can have. They also learn that even the smallest gesture can make someone else’s life better.
The primary goal for the Social Action group is to consider how we can be more effective advocates for equality both at TASIS and in our community. Our work begins by listening to personal stories from a diverse group of people from our TASIS community and beyond. The group discusses these experiences and learns empathy and understanding as we construct a variety of approaches that our group can implement in order to advocate for equality at TASIS, in our hometowns and communities, and in our world.
The Poverty Awareness Group focuses on the nature and causes of poverty. We discuss in depth the challenges of poverty, including how both large and small environments impact the lives of the poor. We decide together what to focus on for the year and research organizations which work in this area or community. Then we explore ways we can learn and make a difference. Last year the group chose one aspect of poverty (access to recreational and sports activities) and partnered with Gram Vikas in India to help children in a rural village.
Students explore, discuss, and research many of the fundamental issues that impact people all over the world, including poverty, access to education, gender equality, ethical purchasing, and public health/disease prevention. Through discussion, news analysis, interviews, and presentations, students deepen their understanding and raise awareness about organizations that are working to combat these problems. Students recognize that in addition to the responsibilities they have in their own countries, everyone shares the responsibility of improving human conditions around the world.
Hope and Homes for Children
Hope and Homes for Children works to improve the lives of children, orphans, and families in Romania. Students learn about Romanian culture, the country’s rich history, and the series of events that led to the current state of its child protection and welfare system—and then discuss what we can do to help. In the past, TASIS has raised funds to improve conditions in Romanian orphanages.
Environmental Saveurs dedicates itself to nurturing human relationships with the natural world. The group aims to develop a taste for and knowledge of how we as humans can participate in the natural world in more healthful and sustainable ways. Members of this group educate themselves about environmental issues and share that knowledge with others in the TASIS community. Additionally, the group seeks to serve at the local and cantonal levels through organizations like ProNatura and in national and global events like Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, and Earth Day.
The Green House
The Green House focuses on how plants improve our wellbeing. Together, the students discuss who might benefit from receiving plants, trees, flowers, or vegetables, which will help them determine what to grow or propagate. From tending to the School vegetable and herb garden to planting seeds that will eventually become flowers, this group will learn about the life cycle of plants and will see how the gift of something green can make people happier and healthier.
This group focuses on using individual skills, strengths, and ideas to contribute to successful event planning. They host events for their Middle School peers, working as a team to execute these events smoothly and troubleshoot any complications. Students gain organizational and leadership skills while learning about the importance of service to others and their community.
Student Council includes elected representatives from all three grade levels. The group is responsible for creating positive connections between students and faculty along with raising the profile of the Middle School at TASIS. They organize events and assemblies. Students have the opportunity to make changes in the Middle School and serve as the voice of their peers. They also develop their leadership, communication (especially public speaking), and IT skills.
For more information, please contact MS Service Learning Coordinator MJ Breton.