It's About Us: Service Learning at ISP

We are principled; we do our best to do what’s right! A project that truly exemplifies this character trait is A Path for a Paw, a non- profit group created by two ISP students who help street dogs be healthy by connecting the person who finds a dog in the street, to a vet, or a shelter, always with the hope of finding a new home for the dog. To date, they have found homes for almost 70 animals.

 

We are adventurous; our curiosity drives us to explore new ideas and ways to learn! High School students dedicated many hours of service to help elementary students in the countryside have better school facilities. They made several tours to El Rodeo, a public elementary school located in La Peña community in the Province of Veraguas. Some of the tours were done during long weekends but others were even a week long. Each tour had a specific goal. The students ended up building a recreational park, a shower, a sidewalk to connect the bathrooms with the school. They worked on the outdoor and indoor kitchens. They changed the floor and the roof of the outdoor kitchen. Nowadays the indoor kitchen has new tiles, sink, and even new cabinets. They built the base for the septic tank. The students also cleaned and conditioned the garden of the school to plant vegetables to feed the children in the school. ISP students taught Mathematics, English, Spanish, Science, and Physical Education. Their adventure provided with new learnings, many of the students now know how to mix cement, students know how to lay bricks, build a roof, condition a field, teach and so many other skills.

 

ISP students worked for a week at the elementary school of La Mesa, in El Valle of Anton, Cocle. Two projects were carried out; the construction of bathrooms and the roof to connect the pre-kindergarten classroom with the school to help with transition during rainy days. In addition, they taught Mathematics, Natural Science, Physical Education, and English.

 

We take risks to discover new things; our students visited Cerro Plata School located in the remote area of Cañazas, one of the poorest area in Panama, in the province of Veraguas. They went to the school to donate tuna and SPAM cans that they had collected for several months. The goal of the collection and visit was to assure that the schoolchildren were having a protein during their lunch. The project was done in conjunction with Pro-Niñez.

 

We are compassionate; we value others’ emotions, circumstances, and perspectives. Camp Hope is a project that exemplifies this character trait. Students adopt a child or an adult with disabilities for a weekend. Together with their new friend, they participate in different recreational activities such as working on crafts, singing songs, swimming in the pool or beach, having a campfire and a party as a culmination.

We seek to contribute to the well-being of others, our community, and the planet. The Service, Engineering and Technology (SET), an award-winning project, it participated in an AASCA completion of service project and was awarded first prize. The Service, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Team is a student-led


Organization at ISP that has as its mission, helping the remote communities of Panama by providing them with access to energy and technology. The Engineering sub-team works on the design and construction of electrical circuits to install solar energy systems, an environmentally friendly and sustainable way to provide electrical power to isolated neighborhoods. The team installed solar panels for families in the community of Buenos Aires in Chepo. The Technology sub-team team works on fixing and resetting hardware and computers to donate for youth’s education in Panama. Their hope is to facilitate access to technology and share knowledge with others so they can be prepared to succeed in a society where opening a Word document is as elemental as reading and writing. The sub-team repaired, updated, and installed 15 desktop computers, created a high-speed network to share the internet, including a wireless network at “Hogar El Buen Pastor” A home for girls who are victims of abuse.

 

Every September ISP students participate with a group of Panamanian organizations and institutions in a Beach cleanup in Embarcadero, Juan Diaz. The purpose of the activity is to raise awareness about a global problem and for students to value and take care of our beaches and mangroves.

 

Eco Leaders is a project started by students from ISP in 2016 with the goal of teaching future generations about environmental sustainability. ISP students teach classes to 6th-grade students from a school in El Chorillo: Nuestra Señora La Merced. The program focuses on four aspects of environmental sustainability: pollution, climate change, deforestation and animal endangerment. The program centers on why these issues happen and what we can do to prevent the furthering of these problems.

 

We are independent; we take initiative and are self- advocates. Focusing on helping 6-12 years old girls at of "El Hogar del Buen Pastor be self-advocate and have a healthy lifestyle, a team initiated the READ ME MORE project. The team teaches the girls how to read and has incorporated activities such as "Fit days" to get them to have fun in a healthy way and helped them with their learning. They also provided art classes that incorporate engaging activities which bring out their creative side.

 

We are authentic; we empower others to celebrate each other’s individuality. United Women is a nonprofit student club at the International School of Panama, founded by an ISP student, with a goal of raising awareness of the injustices faced by women in today’s society. It explores the idea of gender inequality while focusing on women’s rights and ways to stand up for them. It focuses on the slogan of “United for a Future of Equality”, as it wants to work towards a future where men and women have equal opportunities. It is divided into three main branches focused on addressing justice through different approaches: “Combating Violence Against Women”, “Empowering Women”, and “Starting Conversations”. The “Combating Violence Against Women” team worked on the first ever United Women conference. A conference dedicated to raising awareness of the struggles of gender discrimination within the Panamanian community.

 

ISP is a school that truly believes that it is not about me; it is about us, therefore we look after the planet as well as we look after each other. The projects and activities mentioned before are just a few of the many opportunities our students have to be involved in service. Students participate in community service from PK through their Art show; in the elementary school through clothes, school supplies, and toy drives; in IB through initiative projects; as well as in the many sustainability projects and initiative. We would truly like to extend our gratitude to all the students who initiated and participated in these projects, their advisors and participating staff that supported our students. Thank you for making ISP truly amazing! #thereisnoplacelikeisp #ispdolphinpride


Alida Garcia de Paredes & Viki Stiebert