A CULTURE OF SERVICE
Our Service Learning program is based teaching and learning strategies that integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
Students engage in Service Learning through our Advisory program and student council. Students learn through reflection on activities and experiences beyond the classroom. With a focus on the learning process for the individual, students are encouraged to push their boundaries and reflect on their growth.
SERVICE LEARNING IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL
Our Service Learning opportunities in the Middle School are centered on learning that promotes change in both students providing the service, and the organizations and individuals with whom they form a learning partnership. By focusing on creating authentic relationships with specific causes, Service Learning unites students, teachers, administrators, and parents together to understand and respect the communities behind each cause.
The goal of the Service Learning Program is to guide students as they cultivate a heightened sense of awareness of the self in relation to social inequities (both locally and around the world) through reflection and active service.
Students at ASP have diverse passions and interests, and different groups of students bring unique causes to the community each year through clubs, Advisory projects, and independent actions. Past projects include building small machines to improve the lives of residents in local geriatric care facilities, raising money for the NAACP during Black History Month, and designing educational games for younger students to approach math and reading comprehension through empathy interviews and an iterative design process.
JYOTI SCHOOL, INDIA
For the last 14 years, ASP students have traveled to Rishikesh, India, and provided significant financial support for the Jyoti Special School. The Jyoti School provides education for children and adults with mental and physical handicaps up to the age of 30 years old.
To raise money for this project, the Middle School Student Council created the Middle School Walkathon, where students walk or run a 4 kilometer course through the Parc de Saint-Cloud. Students seek sponsorship from family and friends for each kilometer they complete. In previous years, the Walkathon has allowed ASP to fund the construction of dormitories and a multi-purpose room, as well as the purchase of computers, buses, and other specialized teaching tools.
RESTOS DU COEUR
ASP celebrates American Thanksgiving each November, and uses this holiday as an opportunity to give back right here in Saint-Cloud. For over 10 years, ASP students have collected non-perishable food items for the Restos Du Coeur charity, serving families in need in the greater Paris area. Each year, more than 5,000 cans of food are collected thanks to the hard work of our students and the generosity of our ASP families.
This initiative, founded in 1985 by French comedian, Coluche, operates depots and houses all over France and in other European countries, providing people below the poverty line with meals and accommodations.
Learning extends beyond the classroom at ASP, and experiential learning is an essential component of the Middle School experience. In an experiential learning environment, our students are actively involved in activities which allow them to reflect on the experience of 'doing.' Experiential learning requires students to use analytical skills to understand and internalize their experiences, while calling on their decision-making and problem-solving skills to successfully complete a learning challenge, and to synthesize the new ideas gained from and during the experience.
The process of experiential learning allows students to develop new skills, new attitudes and approaches to challenge, and even entirely new ways of thinking about themselves and their learning.
With the first trip dating back to the late 1970s, the Outward Bound learning experience is a cornerstone of life in the ASP Middle School. All students in Grades 6–8 participate, and each grade travels to a different location across Europe to learn about their strengths, build their confidence through challenging outdoor activities, and discover how capable they truly are.
With a focus on building a relationship to the environment, strengthening connections with their peers, and learning about themselves, the Outward Bound experience teaches ASP students lifelong lessons through activities like kayaking, windsurfing, rock climbing, biking, sailing, and canyoning.
REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE, LEARNING FOR LIFE
Children involved in Service Learning show more empathy and kindness, and are better able to apply universal themes from the classroom, like not judging someone based on their appearance, to their own lives.
- Filipa Pavic, Middle School SErvice Learning Coordinator