Summer is upon us but it is not too late to celebrate our thriving service learning programme. Over the course of the 2014-2015 school year every VIS class has taken part in at least one service oriented action.
The VIS Service Learning Programme led by Mr. Jasper in the PYP and Ms. Irma in the MYP has helped our teachers and students to engage in actions to support initiatives at home in Lithuania and as far away as Sierra Leone. Senevita has come on board as a new service learning partner for VIS. Our relationship with them has brought new energy and opportunity to the programme.
Senevita is a care home for senior citizens located approximately 20 km from Vilnius. Over the course of year, five projects have taken place at Senevita. The first was a holiday visit from the Pandas and Ms. Laura’s first grade students who read aloud to their new friends and distributed handmade cards and candy.
The next visitors to Senevita were grade 8 students who integrated service learning with Ms. Diana’s visual arts course. Students were paired with a senior citizen and together they sketched the outline of what later became a collaborative painting about the life of their elder collaborator. It was a wonderful opportunity to bridge the experience and wisdom of our elders with today’s youth. The opportunity for intergenerational friendships are increasingly rare and the potential for lost knowledge and skills can’t be underestimated. This trip allowed us to celebrate the wisdom of generations past.
Grade 5 continued to promote an ethic of care for the elderly during their Exhibition action. They discovered that their new friends at Senevita were interested in communicating with students, rather than being entertained by them. This inspired Marija, Kornelija, Elena, Adomas and Liepa to participate in morning exercises and a Nordic walk with their new friends. Back at school, they set up a waffle station during break to raise money to outfit a relaxation room for them. The grade 5 team, together with the funds raised at Kaziuko Muge last March, was able to contribute a total of 1074 Euro to Senevita.
The final action of the school year involved the organization of a sports day for the seniors. The event was facilitated by grade 7students. It was so successful the kids hope to make it an annual tradition.
Thank you all for your commitment to our community initiatives!
VIS looks forward to seeing primary and middle school students and their families on September 1st at 10.00. When you arrive you will find a shiny new surprise on the playground. You can also look forward to improvements in our school gym. Sorry, it is not a regulation size football pitch!
The following new staff members just jumped on board our train: Grade 3 – Ms. Jessica McColly, American, most recently posted in Ghana. Grade 4 – Ms. Lezlie Faber, American, most recently posted in Bangladesh. Turtles – Ms. Jenny Wong-Powel, Canadian, most recently posted in Sri Lanka. Science/Maths – Mr. Matthew Duquette, American, most recently posted in Ghana. PYP music - Ms. Indre Kukulskyte, Lithuanian, background in ethnomusicality.
VIS is pleased to welcome our new PYP Coordinator, Colin Powell, to the VIS community. Colin is joined by his wife Jenny (our new Turtles teacher) and his two young children. Colin’s experience in international education is as deep as it is broad. He grew up attending an IB school in Tanzania among a family of educators and carried the torch into his professional life. Colin has taught primary school in Malaysia, China and Sri Lanka.
Jenny Wong-Powell is originally from Canada and has followed a similar career path throughout Asia. Jenny is also in the midst of completing her PhD. dissertation entitled “An inquiry into the diverse biographical histories with play and its effects on play in early childhood education.” The timing couldn’t be better considering VIS recently won NordPlus funding to support research in the assessment of play with partners at a Russian language kindergarten in Finland.
Kangaroo Powell and Panda Powell look forward to making friends at VIS and having fun in the snow!
Over eighty VIS students participated in the 10 year anniversary celebration of Lithuania’s membership of European Union by configuring an EU flag. Our school had a special mission – to put up the yellow umbrellas imitating the stars of the EU flag. Overall, 1000 students from 40 schools participated in the event.
VIS students raised 1800 LTL at Kaziuko Fair. The money will go toward our ongoing relationship with a developing school in Sierra Leone.