Quaker News Detail

Service Learning in Middle School

Service learning is a foundation of Quaker education, linking the classroom to the world and building our students’ sense of responsibility as members of communities, large and small.
At Wilmington Friends School, this begins in lower school where each classroom organizes service projects throughout the year, often with links to the curriculum. 

Students entering middle school seek more responsibility and want to contribute to the greater community as they become more independent. At WFS, the 7th grade service project gives them the space to do so. Students plan and embark on an off-campus stewardship project where they perform at least three hours of community service with an organization of their choosing.

Once their stewardship project is complete, students share their reflections with their classmates. Presenting from anywhere between 90 seconds and four minutes, students discuss why they chose their specific organization, what they enjoyed most about their experience, difficulties that they encountered along the way, and what they learned about themselves and their community. This also serves as a space for students to work on their presentation skills; they try their best to make eye contact with their classmates and avoid crutch words like “um” and “uh.”

After presenting, students immediately receive feedback from their teacher and classmates. Their peers tell the presenter what they did well in their presentations, and one thing they need to work on for future presentations. Subsequently, the teacher prompts the class to contemplate the broader significance and implications of the student’s project. For example, if a student collected canned food for a food drive, the teacher will spend a few minutes talking about world hunger and how community efforts can help address these issues. The goal is to help students gain a better understanding of real-world issues and encourage them to take responsibility towards societal issues.

The 7th grade stewardship project also lays a strong foundation for their future service endeavors as upper school students. During their four years in upper school, students are tasked with completing at least 50 hours of service with a single organization. By beginning this process at an early age with hands-on experiences and meaningful interactions, students  move beyond “counting hours” and instead, truly understand the impact they can make on their community.

WFS News & Events

101 School Road, Wilmington, DE 19803
302.576.2900   |   info@wilmingtonfriends.org

Statement of Nondiscrimination as to Student Enrollment
Wilmington Friends School admits students of any race, color, gender, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of these schools. Wilmington Friends School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national and ethnic origin in administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.