Nations’ students have dedicated a good part of their lunch breaks and after school hours to community service over the past few months.
Many students continued their service activities after our Service Day by organizing the donations received during the event. Other students raised funds to buy food baskets for families in neighboring communities and put together hygiene kits for public schools and hospitals in the surrounding community. And many students have engaged in activities at the School Factory and student-led service initiatives, each with their own purpose.
Students in Grades 4 and 5 and their teachers, Mr. Damian Funches, English and Sciences, and Ms. Ana Paula Dalmaschio, Virtues for Life (VFL), focused on the importance of being there for one another. On Service Day, they were joined by students from different grade levels to paint Buddy Benches, a safe space for students who need emotional support. The three benches were placed strategically around the School, and Elementary students learned how to take the lead in making sure these needs were met with love and kindness.
Middle School students organized bake sales to raise money for their service initiatives, with the help of Ms. Jasmin Akhavan and Ms. Neryangela Samoori from our Junior Youth Program (JYP). Students in Grades 6 and 8 used the funds they raised to buy food baskets for families in the cities of São Sebastião and Cidade Estrutural. Grade 7 students purchased small containers for hand sanitizer and liquid soap to be used at the School Factory. They also organized a campaign for donating face masks. They will later make one hundred personal hygiene kits containing hand sanitizer, liquid soap, and face masks to distribute to students in São Sebastião who are returning to face-to-face classes.
Since mid-September, the School Factory has been open during lunchtime for students who cannot stay after school to help produce cleaning products during their lunch breaks. Grade 11 students were particularly enthusiastic about this initiative! They were accompanied by Mr. Leandro Campos from the Science Department and Mr. Dagilson Amaral, who has been the project’s technical assistant for many years. The new hydroponic garden built in the School Factory helped students learn more about plants’ specific needs, the nutrients they need, and the ideal conditions for growth. We were pleasantly surprised recently by the crunchy lettuce they produced, which was served for lunch. It was the first time the kitchen served hydroponically grown lettuce produced at School!
Speaking of surprises, a representative from the Clubinho da Penélope, the pet rescue group that took part in our Service Day, informed us that our partnership had its first concrete results. A family of an Elementary student adopted a puppy. Another Elementary family has also been regularly donating dog food to the campaigns organized by the group.
Students in Grades 9 and 10 have been excited about the new Math Minions project, in which they accompany Middle School students, helping them with their homework and preparing for Math exams. They even created a logo for their project! They meet every Monday to prepare for the week ahead under the guidance of Mr. Marco Borges and Ms. Mailde Carvalho, from the Math Department. Julia Andrade, a Senior, is also helping volunteers to develop their capacities to better assist Middle School students. She has a lot of experience tutoring students in Math, both at school and in the local community of Recanto das Emas, Distrito Federal, where she has her own service initiative.
Led by a highly creative and resourceful group of juniors, the participants of Recycle and Cultivate have been recycling plastic bottles and turning them into colorful, stylish vertical gardens. They plan to take them to a daycare center located in São Sebastião, where the herbs and spices will be used to prepare meals.
Our Seniors in the student-led projects called “Modify” and “Bringing a Dream” dedicated considerable time and effort into preparing personal hygiene kits for families of children who are being cared for at the Hospital Materno-Infantil de Brasília. Each kit included a handwritten message from students now in Grade 3, who shared words of love and encouragement, and a Bahá’í prayer for healing, chosen especially for this purpose. The messages were prepared last year, under the guidance of Ms. Hasti Khoshnammanesh, from the VFL program.
Seniors and juniors also worked together to sort clothes, shoes, and other wearable items received in our Donations Drive. These items were later delivered to families in the Cidade Estrutural, where a grassroots organization also received school supplies for the children attending a local daycare center. In addition, student volunteers from Grades 9, 10, and 11 organized the books received from the community into genres. They delivered them to local libraries selected by the members of the project Sowing Words of Hope. This was another student-led initiative that emerged last quarter, under the guidance of Ms. Ilza Borja, from our Languages Department. All projects and initiatives provide many learning opportunities that benefit our students, helping them gain insight into how to develop their capacities and apply their efforts to contribute to the betterment of our community.
For more information about our School’s Community Service Program, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.