Throughout the day, students, staff and parents were active participants in a variety of Community Service projects and activities on campus and across Florence. In working with local and global non-profit organizations focusing on environmental and social injustice, students were introduced to a wide range of world issues. Engaging students in Service-Learning education fosters both empathy and critical thinking, and important questions were addressed: How do leaders transform knowledge and skill into action for the benefit of others? What skills can you learn to effect positive change in the future? What can you do to take action and help make a difference? Students at ISF reflected on these and other questions in sessions at the end of the day to ensure a deeper understanding of their implications.
Junior School students helped clean up local parks, planted vegetable gardens and spent quality time with elders in need. Experts from ARPAT taught Grade 1 about the importance of bees and their role in our environment. Students in Grades 6-8 engaged in a series of activities to learn about the global water crisis. ISF ninth-graders joined forces with FIAB Firenze Ciclabile to focus on sustainable transportation in Florence. Grade 10 worked in teams with members of Angeli del Bello to clean up nearby streets.
On campus, Bagno a Ripoli Red Cross operators guided Grade 11 students in emergency response education and practised first-aid skills. Groups of twelfth-grade students prepared meals for the hungry through Pane ai Bisognosi, the generosity of Ristorante Accademia and the guidance of Father Cameron Kramer before heading out to distribute food to those in need. Members of Viva Vittoria led knitting sessions to participate in the movement to raise awareness about violence against women. The school-wide focus on community centred on forging connections with local and global organizations and inspiring student stewardship. With this exposure, students learn to develop a lifelong passion for volunteering and the confidence that they can make a difference. This important day brought the ISF community closer together and strengthened the school’s ties with the city.