Community Service and Community Service Learning are important strands of Lanna School education.
Our Thai department offer students a range of community service projects. These have ranged from a reminiscence and story telling project in an old people home in Chiang Mai’s old city to working as translators for a network of local orphanages.
In Year 12 and Year 13 students have the option of developing this work into Community Service Learning, a form of experiential learning where students devise their own projects, set their own learning objectives and also contribute to their community.
Each project is overseen by designated staff members and mentors, and culminates in end of semester presentations where students reflect upon the work they have undertaken and review their own learning objects. It’s also just a great way to share new and important experiences.
This is what Community Service Learning students say about their experiences:
I had the privilege of teaching English to eleven young students at the local temple school. The students were really lively and were sometimes difficult to control, but the experience was extremely valuable to me. I’ve learnt to be a lot more patient, responsible and organised. I developed a mutual respect with my students which I strongly believe is one of my biggest achievements at Lanna School.
Ella and Kathrin
As part of our Community Service Learning we devised and delivered a reading project. Our mission was to share our passion for reading with the younger students. We undertook the challenge of reading aloud to children of various ages. Through this we also hoped to enhance the children’s comprehension skills and boost their enthusiasm towards reading books in general. Not only has this project been fun and enjoyable but an experience unlike any other we have had at school. The time we have spent reading and interacting with young children has been both fulfilling and truly worthwhile.
I worked for an organisation called KLEO which stands for Karen Learning Education Opportunities, a charity which helps Karen Hill Tribe teenagers access formal education. I helped them do their homework and played educational games with them to help them learn English. It was tiring and I needed to spend a lot of time planning what we were going to do but it was incredibly rewarding. I learnt how much effort it takes to make things really work.
For our community service project, we established a small social enterprise business where we promoted healthy eating and fair trade prices for local farmers. We sold local bread, rice and coffee and donated the money we made to a charity that helps to educate children from local hill tribes. Through carrying out this project I learned that motivation and responsibility are the key points of success.
After school every Wednesday, for nearly 2 years, me and a few others worked with some children who lived in a nearby migrant workers village. They had almost nothing and lived in make-shift tin shacks built by their parents. We taught them English and also did fun things with them, things they would not ordinarily be able to do, like learning to swim, cooking, playing party games and going on cycle rides. It was an enormously steep learning curve and was one of the most important things I ever did at Lanna School.
I have been working as part of a group of students who provide support to Santisook Dog and Cat Shelter in Sanpatong. We have helped at the shelter and also begun raising money for them. Our main goal is to raise 15,000 THB for the shelter by fundraising. Eventually all the money will go into sterilising homeless dogs, which is a really big problem in Thailand. I found the experience to be very challenging but very educational. It has really made me aware of a real active issue that I was completely unaware of. The overpopulation of stray dogs is something that I witness everyday but didn’t really recognise as a major problem. We also aim to raise awareness through making posters and a video about this issue. I’ve learned so much about what its like to take responsibility as I now feel I have a duty I need to fulfil. Working for a good cause has also helped me see the value in doing something for other people without expecting anything back.
I have created a website for any students to revise maths and science IGCSE work. I have helped younger year groups in maths classes and provided general academic support. I’ve learnt to approach problems in different ways, I’ve learnt that helping people solve problems depends on what they find useful, not what I think they should find useful, so I have tailored each problem solving strategy to suit the audience. I’ve also gained more appreciation for teachers’ hard work!
In the past students have been involved with projects such as:
- Teaching English and Art and Design to younger children at the local Buddhist temple school.
- Working at the Northern Blind Children School, Chiang Mai.
- Cooking classes with Pre-school Nursery age children.
- Creating a school organic vegetable garden with the aim of using home grown vegetables in school lunches.
- Teaching English, life skills and playing games at Ban Rom Sai Childrens Home.
- Helping to run drama and theatre classes at the Chiang Mai Drama Centre.
- Looking after, and caring for stray dogs, at Chiang Mai’s Care For Dogs Foundation.
- Running a homework club at Jen’s House, a home for teenage Karen Hill Tribe children run by Karen Learning Education Opportunity (KLEO).
- Working with, and running classes at Thai Freedom House, a learning centre for refugees and oppressed minorities in Chiang Mai.
- Setting up and running a school wide re-cycling project.