Workshops for Middle School

ASL (American Sign Language): This workshop provides the opportunity to learn and explore the third most common language in the United States. Students will learn how to communicate using signs, facial expressions, and gestures the way most people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing do. Deaf Culture and its many aspects will also be discussed and examined. A field trip to a school for the deaf or a similar site will allow students to practice what they have learned.

Helping Hands: A one-week, full-day workshop that provides hands-on community service opportunities and time for classroom learning and group reflection. During the week, students volunteer at various not-for-profit organizations, such as nursing homes, day care centers, homeless services providers, or environmental agencies. The morning begins in a Sidwell classroom discussing issues important to the service project of the day.

Clear Up!: This workshop engages participants in such activities as cleaning up local parks, beaches, and bays. Participants learn about the environment and their relationship to it in class, through visits to local farms, and by taking canoe trips to view local ecosystems and the systems' impact on native wildlife.

A, B, Cs of Community Service with Infants/Toddlers: In this two-week workshop, participants intern in local daycare centers, spending four hours daily working with infants and children up to age five and their caregivers. They develop activities and assist with a variety of classroom functions. They explore interactions, situations encountered, and learning about early childhood development.

Workshops for Elementary School

Little Hands, Big Hearts: A part of the Explorer Day Camp, this afternoon workshop introduces children to community service. Activities may include art projects for the elderly, a visit to a daycare center to perform a skit, making sandwiches for a shelter, cleaning up a park, and creating stories about how people can help others.

our take: With such a wide variety of programs and experiences, a child of any age will benefit greatly from the opportunity to participate in any one of these workshops. This is a great way for your child to gain a healthy sense of altruism, contribute positively and fruitfully to the community, meet new friends, and feel good about himself or herself as an individual. These workshops provide unlimited resources and opportunities for personal growth and heighten your child's levels of community, cultural, environmental, and social awareness.

our recommendation: The program has more than enough activities for any kid to have a good time. This is a great way for your student to show his or her involvement in the community.

VOLUNTEERS FOR PEACE INTERNATIONAL WORK CAMP

International community service camp

Amy Bannon, Outgoing Placement or Peter Coldwell, Director

1034 Tiffany Road

Belmont, VT 05730

(802) 259-2759

quick take: This program is definitely for the independent mature kid. The decision to participate must be driven by the teenager. The child must travel to the work camp destination by himself or herself, where he or she will meet and work with other teens who speak different languages. Usually there are only a few English-speaking teens in a group. You have to be a certain type of kid to love this journey. It's hard work. The kids will travel to interesting countries, meet the people, learn about the culture, and engage in community service.

age requirement: 15 and older for most programs; a few programs each year for 14-year olds.

fees: Vary with location and length of session: airfare plus $250 registration fee. Check out the Web site for more information on the various camps and prices.

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