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A Message from Kathy Dedieu: A Proposal for Service Learning at Pingree

Pingree has a wonderful tradition of community service and stewardship that has long benefited both our students and our surrounding community.  However, I believe that a more focused and structured program allows both the student and the beneficiary to have a more powerful and fruitful experience.

What is the goal of this proposal?
The goal of the Service Learning Proposal is to better align Pingree’s service and stewardship program with its mission statement and pillars through responsible citizenship and education of the person as whole.  The current proposal is to do this through more directed and continuous service.

The rough idea is to focus community service into approximately 4-5 options that students can choose from that reflect Pingree’s strengths such as athletics, art, academics, and sustainability. Furthermore, the programs will be longer-term, in which a Pingree student is involved with a given service community for several years. Ideally, the program will allow for student-to-student education and reflection.

Who is developing the proposal?
The proposal is being developed by a Service Learning Committee made up of faculty, staff, parents, and students.  The committee is led by me, science teacher Kathy Dedieu, while history teacher Andrew Lee, librarian Meghan O’Neill, and student August Umholtz also will work closely on the proposal over the winter. The committee will look at service learning from the point of view of the beneficiaries (those we will serve), the students, and other schools that have successfully implemented a Service Learning Program.

What is the timeline?
The proposal will be ready to present to the Pingree Community in March 2012.  Based on the presentation and feedback, a trial of the Service Learning Program will begin with the incoming class of freshmen in September 2012.

What about Pingree’s current community service program?
Students who are currently enrolled at Pingree will be required to fulfill the 50 hours of community service as part of their graduation requirement. Students should communicate with their Grade Deans, who are responsible for tracking hours. A list of community service organizations can be found on the school website under “Volunteer Opportunities.”

Questions or comments can be directed to: servicelearning@pingree.org

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