The aim of the community service programme is to help students become involved and aware of the community they live in (both global and local) on their path to becoming world citizens.
Being part of a community is important. At ISA Tianhe we encourage students to become responsible world citizens who seek to develop their understanding of the world around them. Students are encouraged to make connections between what they study at school and how they can use their own skills to contribute to the community by asking “How can I make a difference?”. The focus is on action both inside and outside the classroom.
Involvement and Service
Increased awareness of community needs and of students’ personal strengths and interests will motivate them to get involved in community service activities. The school develops student engagement in service activities, both individually and in groups. Examples of these activities include:
Assisting other students
Managing school sports teams
Contributing to student committees and organisations
Supporting and developing links between the school and international organisations
Organising activities and fundraising to support “Hopeful Hearts”
Fundraising to support victims and communities of natural disasters
Reflection is an essential part of community service. It encourages greater awareness of any needs as well as the quality of the response required. It helps students develop positive attitudes and to become aware of personal strengths and difficulties. Students write their thoughts and feelings in a journal to describe their community service activities, reflect on the impact of their actions, and notice any changes in their attitudes.
In December 2017, the ISA Charity Fund (ICF) was initiated by Guangzhou ISA International School (now ISA Tianhe). The fund mainly provides educational support, assistance for the elderly, protection of young people and children, promotion of Chinese culture, and emergency response. It offers a platform for the ISA Tianhe and wider ISA community to fully engage with the world around them.
From the community service programme, students will further broaden their outlooks and learn skills to engage in and better their communities, share responsibility, show empathy, compassion, and respect. Additionally, they inquire and learn to think independently, demonstrating leadership and collaboration. Since the foundation of the ICF, ISA Tianhe has held charity fairs in conjunction with International Children’s Day, Sports Day and the Winter Festival every year. Some of our past activities have included a charity sale, music performances, and the Wetland Initiative Activity. These activities have strengthened students’ understandings of how their actions and dedication can positively impact the greater community.
At our yearly Winter Festival, all ISA Tianhe members gathered to mobilise the strengths of students, teachers, parents, and the community to jointly organise charity events, including a charity sale on the day of the celebration. Students are actively involved in the charity, crafting some wonderful and creative handicrafts for people to buy, with all money raised going to the ISA Charity Fund (ICF), enabling us to continue supporting those in need. They learn about the work done by the ICF and the people that it helps, and share this knowledge with people that come to the stall. The lessons learned with this project carry over well to other topics like Globalisation and Poverty that are studied in their Individuals and Societies class, making a wonderful and successful learning experience for our students.
In addition to the charity bazaar held every year, ISA Tianhe regularly organises a performance team of students who have a passion for charity to hold various types of events under the guidance of teachers. ICF holds a charity concert in the theatre at Guangzhou Library, raising money for Small House Charity. Year 3, 4, and 5 students also participate in the event and put on a fabulous charity concert.
The ICF is also concerned about the living conditions of elderly people. Through organising a visit to the Guangzhou Elderly Home, students learned about the facilities, daily operations, and the activities elderly people engage in. Our students created handmade flowers with the elderly and sent gifts. Through this visit, students engaged within their community, and recognised the positive impacts of helping others.
As part of the Year 2 Unit of Inquiry topic, teachers initiated the “Conservation of Extinct and Endangered Animals” project, where children researched endangered animals both in China and worldwide. Students were required to collaborate and research into actions that can be taken to make a difference. They discovered the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and had the idea to adopt an orangutan. On International Children’s Day, the children displayed and sold bags, mugs and paintings made in class, as well as cupcakes they had baked with the support of their parents. In total, RMB4,650 was raised by the Year 2 students, proving enough to virtually adopt 13 orangutans. This opportunity allowed students to realise how they can make a difference in the world.
On the World Wetlands Day, Guangzhou Haizhu National Wetland Park organised a campaign in which Pablo Navarro, Kamila Mejia and Kephas Pope from ISA Tianhe acted as ambassadors for public welfare and read the proposal on “Strengthening the Wetland Protection and Constructing Beautiful China” on behalf of the students. Though they come from different countries, they used their voice to call on all people living in the world to take action to protect wetland resources and our earth. The serious and responsible attitude as well as the wonderful advocacy skills demonstrated by our students throughout the event won praise from all audiences.