Learning service as a way of life
In the classroom, service is more than an opportunity. It is an expectation.
If a preschool student is “first” for the day, she will lead every line. But she goes first in order to open and hold the door for her classmates. This is the way that children are invited to serve at school on a daily basis. Tie someone’s shoe. Pick up dropped papers. Speak an encouraging word. Play with a younger child at the park. Be a reading buddy. And for some eight grade students, teach a mini-term class or work as an intern in the lower school for the month of December.
School-wide service projects teach students to reach out beyond the school walls. The kindergarten leads the school in collecting baby food for the local food pantry. The second and third grade collect items for the Hoboken Shelter. The eighth grade leads the school in responding to a natural disaster on the other side of the world. These are some of the many service projects that happen every year.
We nurture service in a variety of ways, but always within the context of community. School. Neighborhood. State. Country. World.
Leaders should be servants. We want our students to be both.