Annual Report 2018-19

Strategic Themes

Service Learning

Students building a library from mud bricks during a Week Without Walls trip.

Service Learning

: Recognizing the opportunity to contribute to change in both our own, as well as the larger community around us, ISY strives to be a leader in Service Learning as a means to engage as global citizens.

In order to unify our program of Service Learning, we created a Service Learning committee with representatives from each section of the school. The new committee’s goal is to promote professional development, student engagement, and school-wide Service Learning initiatives.

Professional development took the form of presentations, a book study group, and a delegation attending the International Service Learning conference. ISY faculty also visited an established UWS project in Cambodia, explored how to extend service components in WWW trips, and investigated potential projects in Myanmar.

The Secondary School Service Learning program, which previously consisted of community service projects, a small environmental group, and work with the Yangon Animal Shelter, was considerably extended this year through student-led initiatives. While maintaining these original projects, students initiated new groups such as Girl Up, Global, Mary Chapman School for the Deaf group, Gardening group, Blind School Books, and Community Kitchen which delivers meals weekly to disabled children.

Additionally, Secondary School teachers incorporated Service Learning into the curriculum through units on poverty and education. Grade 9 students discussed how education impacts decision making and issues of human trafficking, then engaged in interviews with local shopkeepers and created informational videos. They shared their findings with the ISY student body in a town hall meeting. Grades 6-7 students planned and led a day long event for approximately sixty students from Mary Chapman School of the Deaf. The event fostered an understanding and mutually beneficial relationship with this community partner and gave all students insight into the realities of differently-abled students.

In Elementary School, projects were primarily teacher-driven through links within the curriculum. Students learned about connections between real world issues such as pollution, and how our actions can make a difference. The Elementary School musical performance focused on animal welfare with speeches from students and animal themed songs. Elementary School now has three active Service Learning groups—Roots and Shoots, Elementary School Student Council, and Gardening group.

We designated three projects as school-wide initiatives: Yangon Animal Shelter, UWS and the environmental group SEEDs. Diverse groups working together towards a common goal supports a key aspect of Service Learning, and school-wide fundraising campaigns, publicity through ISY social media sites, and awareness raising activities such as concerts, Sports-a-Thon, and Family Fun Night, have enhanced our community spirit as well as supported these projects.

For ISY’s Service Learning program to develop, it is essential that we have wide and deep community involvement. Parent volunteers were instrumental in the success of fundraising events, and the PA’s decision to support the UWS-ISY partnership was vital, particularly in their funding three parents to participate in the UWS Cambodia school visit.

Additionally, the PA initiated a small grant program for Service Learning activities. The PA disbursed four grants totaling $1,000 to student initiatives such as Community Kitchen.