Service-Learning Leaders Share Expertise and Innovations at ISEEN Winter Institute
St. Margaret’s Director of Equity and Inclusion Victor Cota, Upper School Director of Community Life Lora Allison and Lower School Director of Community Life Tupper Spring recently shared St. Margaret’s approach to service learning to a group of educational leaders at the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network Winter Institute in Portland, Ore.
The three shared their expertise in the ISEEN “Model Programs and Practices” session, conducting a series of short presentations titled “Building Meaningful Community Partnerships and Understanding Authentic Needs, a Cross-Divisional Approach.” that addressed how several of St. Margaret’s strategic priorities were implemented as it relates to service learning.
Some of the topics Mrs. Allison, Ms. Spring and Mr. Cota presented included how St. Margaret’s transitioned from community service to service learning, how the school schedule redesign in 2018 incorporated service learning into the school day, how cultural competency skills further enhanced the effectiveness of service-learning partnerships, and the ways that St. Margaret’s embraced the value of cross-divisional service opportunities in an early childhood-grade 12 program.
“We had an engaged audience for all of our sessions,” Mrs. Allison said. “At the heart of St. Margaret’s program is connecting our students to an experiential process that will have a lifetime of impact, including a deeper understanding of our communities. Our work was well-received by the attendees.”