Service is an integral part of life in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) at the Junior School. It is a fundamental expression of Southridge’s guiding principles of personal responsibility and commitment to contributing to the good of the community.
We believe that students are never too young to learn that it is through selfless giving that we experience truth, tolerance, compassion and respect – values that are central to Southridge’s philosophy. Service evokes a reflective process that instills a deeper appreciation for our place in the global community and our personal responsibility to make a difference in the world.
There are both mandatory and voluntary components, and commitment may be short or long term. Our teachers act as facilitators, supporting our students to plan, organize, carry out and evaluate projects. We know from experience that students become more self-motivated and capable of running their own events with each passing year and nurture their understanding of what it means to serve.
With the start of the academic year in September, every student take part in the Terry Fox Run, with their participation partially orchestrated by Grade 7 students. This event is now a Southridge tradition involving students, parents, and faculty members who walk and run together to make a difference in funding cancer research.
Throughout the year, monthly casual days raise money for various local organizations such as the BC Children’s Hospital. In addition, all students are invited to contribute non-perishable goods and gifts to annual Christmas hamper recipients. Each term, MYP volunteers have the opportunity to work as monitors in such areas as the art room and science lab. They also volunteer for recycling and peer tutoring programs.
Larger student-initiated actions, such as collecting blankets and towels for an animal shelter, are often incorporated into the service program. Students are encouraged to take a stand and by so doing learn how they can make a contribution to the greater good. Taking action such as writing letters to a Tasmanian forest company to persuade them to stop clear-cut logging of old growth forests helps raise social conscious awareness in our students. Many such actions are directly related to learning in the IB programs and current events.