Community Involvement - Engaging Head, Heart & Hands
One of the core learning goals at the Chicago Waldorf High School is that we inspire our students to reach out to the world in engaged inquiry and service. Community involvement initiatives are structured in all years of the High School curriculum so that students have the opportunity to interact with different institutions and communities, learn from their participation in organizational and work-based projects and see the impact of their volunteerism and collaboration with others.
Communities Engaged with Communities
Throughout the academic year, the high school students work alongside faculty mentors in community service days engaging with social service and advocacy organizations in the city including Chicago Waldorf School initiative programs such as PACT and the CTA Improvement Mural Project. Every year the high school students engage in two-week long service learning field trips that involve in-depth farming and building projects, or working with developmentally disabled adults and other community-based service learning projects. In their senior year, students select an organization to dedicate their time to in an individual senior internship that engages them in professional and community-based volunteerism work. And the World Exchange Program offers students the opportunity to travel abroad and learn from cultural immersion and participation in community projects in foreign countries.
Creating Meaningful Partnerships
The Chicago Waldorf School believes that engaging students in service to their community fosters a lifelong appreciation and commitment for serving others. The school's community service program has encompassed substantial, long-term collaborations with diverse institutions including the Marjorie Kovler Center for Survivors of Torture, Tree House Humane Society, Interfaith House, and Cornerstone Community Outreach to name a few. Chicago Waldorf students engage with the City of Chicago and with local communities in ways that connect them with people and causes they otherwise might not experience.
Students have volunteered at large organizations like the Howard Area Community Center and with local volunteer-run organizations such as Support 1000. In the past five years the students have also worked on community projects with:
- Alden Village
- Lincoln Park Community Shelter
- Northpark Village Nature Center
- Friends of the Chicago River
- Alzheimer’s Care Center
- Working Bikes Cooperative
- Friedman Place
- 47th Ward Green Corps
- ...and more local and national organizations
<< Pictured on a High School field trip, Chicago Waldorf School students assist building a home with recycled bottles, cans and other materials as bricks for walls. Learning green design construction according to sustainable practices utilizing recyclables for passive solar architecture.