Service learning creates awareness, belonging, perspective, and an understanding of the world and its challenges that simply can’t be taught in a classroom. It’s an integral part of McLean School, and engages students in meaningful service to their school and communities through on-campus, off-campus, and international programs. Research shows that students learn best by (1) doing, (2) serving, and (3) reflecting on the experience. Our Service Learning goals for our students include:
- Intellectual development (problem solving)
- basic skills acquisition (communication)
- moral and ethical development
- social and civic responsibility
- career preparation
In addition to community service opportunities throughout the year, we have three Days of Service, when the entire school joins with more than 12 local organizations on projects to benefit the community (while boosting school spirit and creating camaraderie among McLean’s students and parents, as well!). As a graduation requirement, Upper School students are required to complete 40 Service Learning hours.
Lower School Service Learning Opportunities Include
In conjunction with the Lower School Pledge Program and their daily work on citizenship skills, Kindergarten through Grade 4 students gain an understanding of the importance of service to their community. Students learn that they are part of many communities, extending from families to the classroom and school communities. Further, they learn to recognize that their citizenship places them in local, state, national and world communities. The Lower School remains committed to supporting those in need in the Washington Metropolitan Area during the holiday season. Annual food drives have gathered canned foods and non-perishable items for Manna Food Center and the Montgomery County Holiday Giving Program. Students also collected and distributed new toys for Montgomery County families in need for the past few years.
Lower School Service Learning opportunities:
- Visits to the Brookdale Senior Center to perform songs, make holiday cards, and play Bingo with the residents.
- Partnership with Comfort Cases to learn about foster care children and help pack overnight cases for them with donated personal care items and new socks.
- Utilization of the “So What Else Program” and learning about “Pesky Plastics” to create classroom and family recycling charts after a visit to the Montgomery County Recycling Center.
- Partnership with the Locust Grove Nature Center to learn about different environmental stewardship practices, such as invasive weed pull, stream clean up and park improvement projects.
Middle School Service Learning Opportunities Include
Middle School Service Learning opportunities:
- Food preparation and customer support in the clothing store at Martha’s Table in Washington DC, a non-profit dedicated to providing healthy food, affordable clothing, and quality education.
- Working at A Wider Circle, a non-profit organization that supports families in poverty.
- Reading Buddies for a local Title 1 elementary school.
- Cross Divisional Buddy Program with kindergarten and first grade students.
Upper School Service Learning Opportunities Include
McLean School is active in the community through all-school, divisional, and individual efforts. Students gain a sense of awareness and empowerment by participating in Service Learning
In recent years Upper School students have supported many organizations through mini-walks and food preparation for the homeless, coat and blanket drives, and raising funds through a variety of activities.
Upper School students are proud to have supported the following organizations:
- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
- The Children’s Inn at NIH
- Montgomery County Animal Shelter
- Manna Food Center of Montgomery County
- and March of Dimes.
Upper School students are required to complete 40 Service Learning hours as part of their graduation requirements. Students have the opportunity to become connected with the community outside school. It is the goal of the Service Learning requirement to foster compassion and a sense of social responsibility.