Helping someone, or some community, in need can be a powerful and yet humbling feeling. And research suggests that only does serving others make us feel good, it makes our whole communities better, too.
It’s no accident then, that a commitment to community service is built right into our holistic 9 GEMS™ model at all GIIS campuses. We provide our students with the opportunity to help themselves and their community by helping those in need. And, as it turns out, engaging in service creates a kind of self-sustaining, virtuous cycle.
According to research from the University of California and Harvard University, “cooperative behaviour is contagious and it spreads from person to person to person….When people benefit from kindness they ‘pay it forward’ by helping others who were not originally involved, and this creates a cascade of cooperation that influences dozens more in a social network."
By creating opportunities for students to build a habit of service from a very young age, we are actively fostering a community in which good deeds are part and parcel of our collective social contract. When you receive help or kindness from a teammate at a GIIS school, you look for ways to also uplift the others around you through your own service. This approach creates a strong culture of community and connectedness that our students carry from the classroom well into their adult lives.
The broader benefits of service
Community service also nurtures in students the invaluable life skills of empathy, humility, and groundedness. We believe that this not only makes them kinder people, but also better learners. This is another reason why we’ve incorporated service into our 9 GEMS™ approach to learning. When students engage in community service from this strong foundation, they integrate the lessons learned in a way that helps shape their opinions and values, and, ultimately, the actions that they will take as leaders in the larger world.
Anyone at any age can benefit from participating in community service, and yet not all students are exposed to this vital pursuit. At GIIS, it’s not only something we talk about every now and then; it’s part of everything we do. For example, conducting annual donation drives for charities like Sri Narayana Mission teaches our students about giving back to the society, and we're pleased to share that our students recently raised 12000SGD for this cause.
To learn more about community service at GIIS and the ways in which we infuse our unique, dynamic instructional model with opportunities for service, read the latest Global Learning Magazine!