Especially significant for a Roeper Middle School student’s social-emotional growth is the development of personal identity in tandem with an appreciation for the perspective of others.
In terms of service learning, this translates into curricular discussions around what it means to be a part of a community and what responsibilities come with that. The community may be the school itself, where every student is given the responsibility for taking care of classroom recyclables. Or, it may be the Detroit metropolitan area, where eighth graders explore during Interdisciplinary Week the structures of segregation and the concept of urban renewal.
By the time a student reaches the Upper School at Roeper, the complexities and complications of our world and society are well apparent. Here, service learning becomes about turning student passions into avenues for advocacy and agency. Students visit with legislators in Washington DC and gain insight about creating large-scale change. At the same time, students learn both in the classroom and through extracurriculars how to share ideas, maintain civil discourse, work together to toward common goals, and even agree to disagree.
Senior Projects have become a showcase for students who are taking on innovative approaches to macro-problems with a confidence and resilience built from Roeper’s attention to their social and emotional well-being.
This is service learning at Roeper. It is not a box to tick or a tally of hours, but the cultivation of a humanistic orientation toward problem-solving that says we can—and should—create a better world and a more just society.Student Service Projects