At Bingham Academy, we integrate service-learning experiences into a wider curriculum to foster a lifestyle of service that is infused with an awareness of the complexities of the world in which we live. Over the course of their academic career, students will serve the broader Ethiopian community as a class, within small groups, and individually. While serving within different contexts, students engage with our broader Ethiopian community, including the various cultures and values that make up this country. Students learn how to better understand the systemic causes of social issues, the roadblocks to transformation, and how to recognize the resources present to create change. Students learn about the many strategies used to empower and enable community transformation while also reflecting on what it means to be a Christian servant. Be it an ongoing service placement with a local ministry or a group trip to serve with an NGO, Bingham students are given opportunities to find their own unique way of serving our community.
service learning in our elementary school
In the lower grades, students participate in various service projects lead by their teachers. These are age-appropriate ways of helping students learn an appreciation for the world around them. This might include planting a community garden, collecting books for a local organization, cleaning up a community space, or a number of other activities. These service-learning experiences are meant to instill a sense of responsibility to and broaden our perspectives of the community in which we live.
SERVICE LEARNING IN OUR secondARY SCHOOL
As our students grow in maturity, we help them consider the identity of a servant and the complexities involved in serving ethically. We encourage students to become more aware of the biblical context of service with the hope of fostering informed, compassionate servant leaders of tomorrow. We do this through well-developed experiential learning activities that are both student-planned and school-coordinated.
To encourage student-initiated service, we maintain relationships with various local ministries and organizations where we help match student skills and gifts with need. This is done both by introducing small-groups to various local needs and by coordinating ongoing service connections where students can complete community service hours required for graduation. By striving to help a student find a place where they are able to both learn and give in a meaningful way, we hope to create a sense of joy in serving that leads to service as a lifestyle.
One of Bingham’s most exciting service-learning components is Activities Week. This is a school-coordinated week of service that spans across the country. Starting in Grade 6, students are exposed to a range of experiences, cultures, ideas, and situations to create a thread of service learning where each year builds upon the last. Each class takes a trip to a different region of the country where they serve within a new context. Within every trip, a different aspect of service is focused and reflected upon as a class. The students then return to present their learning to the school as a whole.