Solebury School is pleased to announce a partnership with the newly formed non-profit, Teach2Serve, which was created to educate and inspire the next generation of public servants, NGO leaders and social innovators. Students who complete this program will graduate from high school equipped with an effective set of leadership and social entrepreneurial skills.
This program is consistent with the values and respect for all humankind that Solebury has always promoted and will put the school at the forefront of public service education for high school students. Solebury School, one of two pilot schools for the Teach2Serve program, will serve as a founding model for a network of schools across the nation with whom Teach2Serve will partner. Diane Downs serves as director of the program at the school.
Solebury School will award participating students Teach2Serve's Public Service Certificate based on a rigorous curriculum of experiential learning. The two-year program will consist of workshops, evening classes, summer reading, community service, internships, and the development and execution of a service project. Solebury School's first Teach2Serve class of 10 students was selected by an application process at the end of May. Each spring, applications will be accepted from ninth and tenth grade students, and those who are admitted into this selective program will begin classes the following fall. At the end of the two-year Public Service Certificate Program, students who entered Teach2Serve as sophomores may apply for an additional third year fellowship program in which they implement their own sustainable social change initiative.
Teach2Serve will support students at member schools by providing course materials, maintaining an interactive website, networking, offering stipends for required summer internships, and assisting students in their search for colleges where they can continue their study of public service and social change.
"I cannot think of a more appropriate school to partner with the Teach2Serve Program than Solebury," said Tom Wilschutz, Head of School. "As part of our mission, we set the bar high, offering our students a relevant education. What could be more relevant than equipping students with a perspective on the many interconnected challenges facing humanity, inspiring them to engage an issue that interests them and then equipping them with the tools they need to make a difference? Teach2Serve may well prove to be a transformative experience -- for the student involved and for the world these students will inherit."
The program began in September 2010 with the first class, Giving: The Road to Public Service. The course focuses on the history and different philosophies of philanthropy examined through case studies and selected readings. Throughout the year, students will also attend workshops run by different social entrepreneurs and community leaders who have established non-profit organizations to address social problems and improve the lives of others.
Teach2Serve and Solebury School share the hope that students who complete this program will commit themselves to social change at home and abroad. For more information about Teach2Serve, visit http://www.teach2serve.org/
Giving: The Road to Public Service
In this one trimester honors course, which is a requirement of the Teach2Serve certificate program, students study the history and philosophy of philanthropy and social service in the public, private, and non-profit sectors and identify the motivations, strengths and limitations of each. Students become familiar with the actors in the process, the barriers that exist, the points of entry, and the pathways to change. Along the way, they develop such skills as team building, listening, conflict resolution, negotiation, resource mobilization, and fundraising. Lessons will be communicated more concretely through an examination of case studies and the planning and implementation of a group project that addresses a need or issue selected by the class to frame their first year explorations. This course also includes workshops with dynamic social entrepreneurs and professionals working in the community benefit sector. Course requirements include reading, journal responses, group projects, papers, and community service. Open to students in the Teach2Serve program only. Fall trimester course.
Teach2Serve: Social Entrepreneurship
The focus of this class is on helping students complete their capstone project proposals and in many cases, helping them implement their plans. Among the first steps in effecting positive change are identifying the need, listening to those in the affected community, educating oneself, educating others, and defining goals and a mission to address the problem; these are steps that students are expected to begin long before this class begins. By the end of the class, students are expected to have written a mission statement, a project proposal, an informational article and/or presentation about their project, a budget, a grant proposal, and they are expected to have implemented a fundraising initiative. Whether they launch their projects or not, we hope that students will graduate from this class with a clearer idea of how to become a social entrepreneur or begin, run, or work for a community benefit organization in the future.
Teach2Serve: Capstone Project
The culmination of this experiential learning course and the two year Teach2Serve program is the presentation and/or implementation of the students' capstone projects. Each student spends the second year of the social service certificate program researching a problem or need that is of particular interest to him or her and then developing a proposal for how to address that problem. Students engage in self-directed research including field work and interviewing and then write a mission statement, a project proposal, a business plan, and a budget. They also organize fundraising activities. If time permits, students may actually launch their programs, non-profits or initiatives. Open to students in the Teach2Serve program only.
Spring trimester course.