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. On a global scale, service learning leads students to other parts of the country or as far as Asia where they participate in experiential courses in global citizenship.
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. Our ninth grade 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
Student Shoulder to Shoulder
Roeper partners with Student Shoulder to Shoulder (SStS), an organization that offers high school summer experiential courses in global citizenship on four continents around the world. Its goal is to inspire and support the next generation as ethical leaders.
Our students and faculty have traveled to Nepal to help construct schools in rural villages and to increase girls’ access to education, to Tibet to help promote sustainable development, to New Orleans to help restore wetlands, and to Detroit to improve and revitalize the heart of the city.
Roeper is one of nine schools in the United States that is a member of SStS's International School of Global Citizenship. This gives our students access to SStS programs and an opportunity to gain grassroots experience helping communities build sustainable practices.