Service Learning projects are connected to the curriculum and have defined learning outcomes. These projects benefit the School, the community, and the students.
Service Learning projects are integrated into the curriculum in both sixth and eighth grades at Derryfield. Sixth graders, as part of their Geography class, work with adult immigrants and refugees who are learning English. Through a local ENA (English for New Americans) program, Derryfield students are paired up with an adult ENA student and spend time on two different occasions interviewing and getting to know their "buddy." During the third session, while sharing beverages and snacks, Derryfield students talk about what they've learned and present a poster to the adult students depicting their journey to the United States. Derryfield students learn how to design an interview, communicate with someone whose primary language is not English, conduct research about the country from which they came, and get a glimpse into the immigrant/refugee experience. The adult students benefit from meeting and getting to know local children; and receive opportunities to practice their English language skills.
Eighth graders partner with ELL (English Language Learner) students in two elementary schools in Manchester. Over two months, Derryfield students meet three times with their ELL buddies. The first two meetings are held at the elementary schools, with the students playing games, getting to know each other, drawing pictures and helping with school work. For the third session, the ELL students visit Derryfield for a full day of games, science experiments, arts and crafts, and reading. Over the course of the project Derryfield students are researching the country from which their buddy came, discussing political, cultural and emigration issues in World Justice class, and creating books for their buddies. Both groups of students develop relationships with people from other communities and cultures, and the ELL students practice their English and have a chance to share their stories with someone.
Service Learning opportunities are also available in Upper School classes. For example, the Spanish IV class was involved in tutoring; and history students were given the opportunity to interview veterans and record and transcribe the stories of these individuals. In addition, our vocal and instrumental music students have ongoing opportunities to perform for and assist with local non-profit organizations.