At AIS, we define learning as a “lifelong, holistic process that builds and shapes skills, abilities, and critical thinking through life lessons, observations, and experiences in order to become a competent and active global citizen.” Service Learning is a crucial part of the AIS experience and process of becoming an active global citizen and community member. All students from Kindergarten to 12th grade complete at least one service project each year.
In Kindergarten, students learn about empathy and resilience, qualities that are key to implementing positive change, and complete their first service project. Throughout elementary school, students practice identifying problems in our community and proposing possible solutions with the support of their teachers. By secondary school, students are able to independently choose a community problem, identify key actors, research how the problem is being solved in Guatemala and beyond, and come up with a viable solution. By the time they graduate from AIS, all high school students will have completed at least 200 hours of service. Instead of approaching service as separate from core academic subjects, teachers are supported in incorporating service learning into their curriculum. At AIS, academics are enriched by service learning and vice versa, setting our students up for a lifelong commitment to service. For example, 7th Grade students studying the microbiology of water will create a video about viruses and bacteria in water to support Clean International, an NGO that provides water filters to hospitals and families suffering from waterborne diseases.
2nd Grade students created educational toys for students at the Education for the Children Foundation.
4th Graders wrote letters to residents at a senior home to help them feel less isolated during the pandemic.
7th Grade students helped to build a school out of recycled materials such as tires, eco-bricks, and discarded bottles with the organization Long Way Home in Comalapa, Chimaltenango.
9th Graders learned how to plant a sustainable garden and helped plant, water and harvest at the Garden of Hope/Huerta La Esperanza.
7th graders will support Clean International’s Communications by creating a video explaining the importance of access to clean water.
An 8th grade student’s long term service project, Wastedefy, aims to clean waste and pollution from all of Guatemala’s major bodies of water, starting at the mouth of the Motagua River.
High school students will write bilingual children’s books to donate to students with limited access to materials around Sacatepéquez.
If you would like to learn more about the Service Learning program or have ideas of potential partner organizations, please get in touch with our Service Learning Coordinator Madi Lusk email@example.com.