Buckingham Friends School Integrates Service Learning In Curriculum
When Buckingham Friends School recently updated their school’s mission statement, instilling the value of caring for others and the world was one of the community’s top requirements for its students. Says Head of School, Paul Lindenmaier, “At Buckingham Friends School, our mission and core values guide us to recognize and cultivate the individual qualities and spirit of each student while presenting them with a challenging educational framework that fosters community and the importance of service to others and their world.”
Continues Lindenmaier, “We believe that all great service is rooted in one’s capacity to care deeply, and our approach to Service Learning encourages students, working with the adults in the community as mentors and facilitators, to identify the issues they are most concerned about and to pursue the ways by which they can act and make a difference in sustained and meaningful ways.”
Whether its gathering together on Martin Luther King Day to assemble non-perishables for over 300 families through the Bucks County Housing Group, assembling silverware kits for the Trenton Soup Kitchen, making dried soup kits and organizing a mitten drive for the Fisherman’s Mark in Lambertville, or donating toys and their time to A Woman’s Place during the holidays, Buckingham Friends School actively looks for ways their students can give back to the community and awaken a strong local and global consciousness.
On a recent volunteer field trip to the local SPCA, the fourth graders had the opportunity to make treats for animals, while learning about the shelter’s mission. Says their teacher, Jennifer Gibson, “It’s not just about that one day of service. Now the real work begins, as our students will create independent service projects to raise funds for the SPCA. By developing their own projects, students are engaging in a way that resonates with them, while being of service to the local community. That type of service stays with them beyond just that day, that project, or even that year. We want our students to develop a joy of service that they carry with them for the rest of their lives.”