Service Learning in the Time of COVID-19

Bosque School’s commitment to service and community engagement is presented with a compelling challenge during the time of COVID-19. Bosque’s more familiar in-person models for service partnerships have been temporarily discontinued. However, we continue to hold Service Learning as a priority for student learning and growth, so recreating service projects has been a primary focus these past three weeks.  

Prior to COVID-19, our partnership with Catholic Charities Refugee Support Services offered authentic experiences for students to connect with refugee families. Since 2018, our Amnesty International upper school group members have been volunteering as tutors in the after-school International Club program, at Van Buren Middle School. The service group also organized Fun Saturday outings to venues across the city for social friendship-making time. Today’s invitation to all Bosque students and families to participate in the Virtual Language and Cultural Exchange Project is an extension of the good work we’ve done thus far. 

The Virtual Language and Cultural Exchange Project uses technology for innovative approaches to cross-cultural connection and learning language - English exchanged for Arabic, Dari, Kinyarwanda, Pashto, and Swahili. Participating Bosque families will be matched with Newcomer or refugee families primarily from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have a great deal to share about their cultures. We know Bosque families also have a wealth of stories and experiences to share, so we want to connect you all through weekly meetings using ZOOM or WhatsApp with guided lessons and activities.   
You can learn more information about the project and on this program sheetParticipant registration is open April 9-15; a start date is anticipated in late-April after a virtual training session and family matching. 

Perhaps you want to consider other cool and interesting remote service projects. An updated list with ideas is available on our websitefrom sewing face masks to sending letters to troops overseas, and transcribing and digitizing primary source documents at The Smithsonian to making colorful ‘random acts of kindness’ cards for community members receiving food assistance from our long-time food pantry partner, The Storehouse.   
Please send other interesting remote and virtual service ideas not represented on the list for sharing with our community to  Anna Rutins. Also, let her know about your service engagement - send photos, screen shots (with permission for sharing from anyone in the image), feedback about or reviews of the opportunities offered,  and other artifacts. Save a face mask for our COVID-19 archives!

Continuing in the spirit of Bosque School’s commitment to community and Service Learning, students and families have a chance to show yourself and others some love, support, and compassion today.