Before they move up to middle or high school, Corbett Prep students take time to reflect on lessons they learned in the International Baccalaureate Programme and how they can use this knowledge from the IB perspective to give back to the community.
Comprehensive projects that combine research with community outreach give fifth and eighth graders an opportunity to showcase skills they have honed as IB students. The efforts draw attention to local, national or global needs as the students raised money, held food and clothing drives, and advocated for dozens of charitable organizations.
The East and West sides of campus transform into a hub of activity throughout the process, as students eagerly share information about their topics with their peers and family. Once their research is completed, eighth graders set up exhibits to communicate what they have learned and how others can get involved. The fifth grade class pairs their project displays with a powerful performance. Through dance, music and spoken word, the students challenge audiences to think about how one person can change the world.
Whether students are raising money for disease research, collecting donations for the needy or increasing awareness about little-known causes, they reflect issues that are close to their hearts.
Eighth graders helped sloths in Costa Rica, donated books to children in Ethiopia, and gathered pet supplies for rescue animals. Fifth grader Sophia Spataro turned her love of dance into action, filling boxes with gently used dance costumes to donate to other children. Vade Basdeo and Kiran Saligame, fifth grade soccer fans, sold miniature soccer balls to ensure children in other countries have durable sporting equipment so they can benefit from physical activity and play.
IB Capstone Projects
Historically, IB has had capstone projects to mark the culmination of each of its programmes, the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for ages 3-12, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for ages 11-16 and the Diploma Programme for ages 16-19.
Fifth grade has participated in its own IB project, known as Exhibition, for years. Teachers encourage collaborative inquiry into real-world issues that this year surrounded the theme "Sharing the Planet." Students explored the struggle within communities to share finite resources and examined access to equal opportunities.
IB recently added a Community Project option for students ages 13-14, and Corbett Prep eighth graders participated for the second year. The Community Project requires students pinpoint a need within a community, lead a self-directed investigation into the need within a global context, work to address the need, then reflect on their project as well as their learning to develop an understanding of themselves as learners.
Through the inquiry and research process, both fifth- and eighth-grade students assume responsibility for completing a significant, long-term piece of work as well as reflect on what they learned and the outcomes of their projects — important skills for success later in school and in the workplace.
The social implications of service-learning further elevates their in-depth investigations. Teachers hope that raising awareness among students about community needs will promote personal responsibility, helping the students understand how to make informed decisions and prompting them to take actions that will effect change.