Local to global community and service.
Our dedication to service is part of what makes French American + International such a unique school. Community engagement is ingrained in our Lower School, Middle School, and High School curriculum, and we organize opportunities for families to volunteer together too. Our community makes a difference in San Francisco and around the world through service learning opportunities that support education initiatives, tackle inequities, and help sustain strong and vibrant neighborhoods.
For over 10 years, we've called Ecole Natangue, a K-6 public school in M'bour, Senegal, our sister school. With Ecole Natangue as a partner, our students experience a mutual exchange of service and cultural learning. Every year, International students organize and host a dinner and concert called "Songs for Senegal" to raise money for Project Senegal, our initiative to support Ecole Natangue. A few months later, many students head to Senegal on their Global Travel adventure to learn first-hand about about Senegalese culture and society from the students and administrators at Ecole Natangue. Meanwhile, they witness how proceeds from Project Senegal are put to use by the school. Each one of our Global Travel trips have a cultural and service learning dimension.
Curricular Service Requirements
In Lower School, students participate in service activities with their class. For instance, students raise funds for the Children of Haiti Project while learning about global access to education, make sandwiches and greeting cards for the unhoused with The Gubbio Project, and learn gardening skills with an environmental, sustainability and justice lens.
In Middle School, students are required to complete at least 20 hours of service every school year. Our students get excited about service projects, and take the reins on leading initiatives when they can. Last year, after our Grade 8 students learned about the issue of homelessness in San Francisco, they organized a series of bake sales to raise money for essential items. They focused on how to get the most value out of every dollar they raised. After purchasing toiletries, socks, t-shirts, backpacks, sleeping bags, and greeting cards, students visited Project Homeless Connect in person to deliver the items. Not only do our students develop a sense of pride about their service, they also develop a sense of empathy for the people around them.
In Grades 9 and 10, students complete at least 50 service hours over the two-year year period. When students have completed a service activity, they write a reflection on their experience, processing and articulating what they learned about themselves and others through service.
IB students in Grades 11 and 12 are required to complete a total of at least 150 hours, including a minimum of 50 hours in each area of CAS—Creativity, Action, and Service. In addition, each student is expected to engage in a long-term CAS Project incorporating at least two of the areas of CAS and involving teamwork.
Urban Engagement Internship
The Urban Engagement Internship connects Grade 10 students to our city through experiences in the arts, civics, urban environmentalism, service and social justice, and business and entrepreneurship. The program entails an introductory course in the fall for all of Grade 10, which gives students an overview of the kind of projects, skills, and experiences that an internship can offer. Students identify their passions and envision a specific project, and ultimately secure a short internship for the spring or summer break. Internships will give students real-world experience in student-defined areas of interest, as well as provide a springboard for potential internships or career development opportunities in Grades 11 and 12.
Watch the story about students from the Class of 2017 who volunteered at the polls in November 2016 and donated the stipends they earned to Project Senegal. The video was produced and featured by the San Francisco Department of Elections.
Students signing for a cause at Songs for Senegal.
Students visit our sister school, Ecole Natangue.
Grade 2 students make sandwiches for The Gubbio Project.
Grade 8 students organizing their donations to Project Homeless Connect.
Parents get together to volunteer, too.
In Advisory, Middle School students plan service learning projects.
Lower School families bagging rice at a local food bank.