Service Learning is a term that you will hear around local and international schools these days but what does it really mean? Service Learning is the methodology used by teachers to connect content, skills, and/or dispositions taught in school to a genuine need in the community. It’s the art of teaching community engagement.
American School of The Hague (ASH) has a long tradition of community engagement and students are involved in a variety of service initiatives at the school, in their local community as well as with a range of Global Service Partners who work with the school to create unique learning opportunities that benefit the community and the students. Students of all ages are encouraged to take action in support of a cause that they care about and are then supported in their efforts by the faculty who help them to apply the content, skills, and dispositions they learn about at school to addressing real needs they see around them in the community, near or far. This approach results in a very engaged school community where students and teachers work together to provide support to those needing it. The impact on students is far reaching and extends beyond a once off project; it creates a mindset and set of skills that can be drawn upon throughout their lives.
Service Learning is not just for the students at ASH; the school strives to foster a culture of community engagement by providing all members of the community with the skills and the confidence necessary to actively give their time, energy and talents in order to make a difference and create a better world. Parents play an important part in the education process of their children, both as mentors for the students' service initiatives as well as role models through their own volunteering activities.