"Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves... We do ourselves the most good doing something for others."
~ Horace Mann
AIS - West students learn to reach out to others through service. The Student Council takes a very active part and is supported by teachers and parents. Service Learning is integrated in the curriculum. Students also develop individual and group service programs within the CAS component of the International Baccalaureate diploma. Service offers opportunities not just for acquiring skills, values, and knowledge but also for self-reflection and self-discovery.
We started the recycling program at AIS - West in the 2010-2011 school year. We had a few dedicated students decorate recycling boxes for each classroom. The boxes we used were from the boxes that the woman in the copy room saved for us. It is a perfect size for a classroom recycling box. The students went around the school two times a week either during lunch or after school to collect recyclable items. We looked into what the three R’s (Respect, Responsibility, and Readiness) were and how we could make a difference in Egypt. It was intensive labor as these students needed to collect the recyclables every week, and we needed to make contact with the recycling company biweekly. We had no storage for the recyclables and the recycling area continued to be a thorn in our side.
This school year, 2019-2020, we expanded the program with the help of a parent in the parent advisory council who suggested using large bins to store and separate paper, plastic, and cardboard. Many staff brought their recyclables from home. Each teacher decides when their classroom bins need to be emptied, and they have students bring the recyclables to a designated area out near the front gates.
PAC (parent advisory council), in conjunction with the school, was able to create and pay for large storage bins. Marwa El Sayed, firstname.lastname@example.org, a parent, provided the contact information for the recycling company that collects the recyclables on a weekly basis. This year, the recycling project became sustainable and strong. The company can take glass, styrofoam, cardboard, plastic and paper. We have stayed away from glass, styrofoam, and tin as these would need to be cleaned. Another teacher had an environmental group, and these students were the first ones to want to help in recycling and reusing to make other artworks.
The best environmental program is one where we reduce waste. In the future, we should look at our school’s consumption and see where we can go green. We need to tackle the waste the canteen produces especially the use of styrofoam. We should reduce, so we do not have to recycle. Parents should send children with clean tins and plastic to throw into the bins each day. Make our recycling program into something that extends into the home and becomes a community endeavor.
Students went to the recycling center in Garbage City to see how Egypt recycles. We were able to donate to their project and buy handmade items all from recycled material.
WE SUPPORT DAR AL FETOUH ORPHANAGE
PAC created a library at the Orphanage. They donated computers, shelves, books, and art supplies. We fundraised by having our annual International Festival and proceeded to give to this orphanage. We also secured the building by installing metal grating over the lower floor rooms at the orphanage. In the winter, we donated over 12 portable heaters to help take the chill off the unheated bedrooms. Each bedroom received a heater.
El Nasser Children’s Cancer Hospital:
This year, 5th Grade is supporting the El Nasser Children's Cancer Hospital. We donate toys to help cheer up the sick children who are receiving treatment at this institution. Many of these children are from very poor families and some of them spend weeks at the hospital for treatment. We collect simple toys like dolls, action figures or small cars, crayons, markers, colored pencils, coloring books, and cuddly toys etc.