Somersfield Academy aims to inspire socially conscious independent thinkers and this project was part of service as action in the Middle Years Programme (MYP). “We were able to partner with an ongoing meals programme at Christ Church, Warwick”, explains MYP language and literature coordinator Carolyn Amaral, who coordinated the project.
“It allowed the students a chance to experience first-hand the impact COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has had on the community and food security, which their privilege allows them to take for granted”.
The class raised funds or donated food which they cooked in the kitchens at school. “We were able to provide each family with enough food for the entire day, ensuring each family received a protein, vegetable, starch, fruit and dessert. In addition, the families greatly appreciated the clothing and gift vouchers we were also able to provide”, says Amaral.
“We were clearly able to see that what we provided was important as these families didn’t know when their next meal could be”.
She adds: “Even though we were only providing food and funds for a week, the project gave students the chance to understand that they had the ability to make a positive and meaningful impact. Our hope is that the families we supported were left with the knowledge that people do care”.
Here are some student reflections on the experience and the IB learner profile attributes they displayed:
“Food is necessary to live, and yet many people struggle to find enough of it to provide for themselves and for their family. The power of food, and the different skills that are needed to create food are two of the many things that I learned throughout the service project”.
Aisling Homan, MYP 5
“Food is an essential part of people and culture, and sharing this helps people understand each other”.
Zaire Lodge, MYP 5
“I learned that if we could help people more often and consistently and not just help them one time, this can ease their financial situation. If they are caring for young kids or a senior, while looking for a new job, or trying to learn new skills, this meal may give them the time to do this”.
Ethan Etemadi, MYP M5
“We were clearly able to see that what we provided was important as these families didn’t know when their next meal could be and they struggled to find the resources to properly provide for their children and pets”.
Ian Forbes, MYP M5
“During this week of service and action, I learned that I love working together with my peers as we can make great memories and learn more about each other”.
Nicholas Bonanno, MYP M5
“After the two days I participated in the cooking and delivering of food, I learned a few things about myself. Number one is that I’m ungrateful. After going to these communities and seeing them struggling to afford meals for their whole families, it made me see how fortunate I was. I realized that I never take the time to recognize how privileged I am”.
Zaire Lodge, MYP M5
“I learned that even though it is such a small island, people can have extremely different living conditions and that there is much more poverty on the island than I had previously realized. Finally, I learned how well the community can work together to help those in need”.
Zoe Hasselkuss, MYP M5
“I learned that I can easily learn new skills in cooking with some dedication. For example, on the first day, I peeled apples and carrots with a peeler which I knew how to do, but not very well. Although at the start, I was quite slow, I sped up gradually along the way. This shows that I was able to improve this skill in one day. On the second day, I cooked taco meat in a pan, which I had rarely done before. In addition, I transferred this skill when cooking chicken the following day”.
Thibaut Stefani, MYP M5
If you enjoyed this story, consider reading more below: