A Montessori Approach to Service Learning at Inly School

If salvation and help are to come, it is from the child, for the child is the constructor of man and so of society.
The child is endowed with an inner power which can guide us to a more enlightened future.

—Maria Montessori

At the heart of our service learning curriculum at Inly School is Maria Montessori’s mandate to empower children to become agents of change, and our personal mission to create global citizens. The goal of the service work we do at all levels at Inly is to promote the development of lifelong lessons in empathy, hard work, and cultural awareness, while giving students a sense of belonging to a community.

About the Service Learning Curriculum at Inly School

Montessori education includes a large focus on peace education and authentic learning. Service learning fits squarely within this philosophy. As defined by the National Service-Learning Partnership:

Service learning is a teaching method that engages young people in solving problems within their schools and communities as part of their academic studies or other type of intentional learning activity.

Service learning at Inly School begins with the question, “How can I be of service?” and calls each student to identify and develop their personal talents, abilities, or interests, and to use those to meet the needs of another. Involved in this process is self-reflection, an awareness of the needs around me, education about those needs, an understanding of how my actions can make a difference, and a willingness to extend myself in service.

Our service learning program at Inly School begins at the earliest age, and grows in scope and formality as our students near graduation. Our toddlers learn to be of service to each other within their classroom, but at all other levels, our acts of service happen in our classrooms, within our Inly community, in our local and national communities, and in our global community.

A multi-age group doing campus clean-up in the fall.

Acts of Service at Inly School: From Preschool through Middle School

Toddler House

  • Helping each other in the classroom
  • Sharing
  • Restoring the environment

Children’s House

  • Helping each other in the classroom
  • Restoring the environment
  • Being stewards of the hallways
  • Planting bulbs around the campus
  • Writing thank you holiday cards to board members
  • Collecting used items that are needed at the local animal shelter
  • Heifer International

Lower Elementary

  • Helping each other in the classroom
  • Restoring the environment (classroom clean-up jobs)
  • Being stewards of the labyrinth and the playground
  • Reading to students in Children’s House in the morning
  • Writing letters of gratitude to local municipal workers
  • Local beach clean up (once in fall, once in spring)
  • Heifer International

Upper Elementary

  • Helping each other in the classroom
  • Restoring the environment (classroom clean-up jobs)
  • Raising and lowering the flag each day
  • Caring for the toddlers as a fifth grader
  • Service learning curriculum on Fridays
  • Working in the lower elementary classes
  • Being available to help as requested by any staff member at Inly
  • Knitting project to support those in need locally
  • Working with Sunrise Assisted Living on various projects
  • Helping to care for the local park at the roundabout near the school
  • Writing letters (soldiers, injured, ill)
  • Supporting the work of Mikey Walker in Guinea Africa by raising funds, awareness, and making Montessori materials
  • Heifer International

Middle School

  • Helping each other in the classroom
  • Restoring the environment (classroom clean-up jobs)
  • Caring for the outdoor environment of Middle School
  • Working in the preschool Discovery program during lunch
  • Being a committee member: Green Committee, Pizza Business, Communications Committee, Mentoring Committee. All have service components and 10% of funds raised are donated to Heifer International or charity of choice.
  • Completing twenty mandatory community service hours on or off campus
  • Assisting with child care at school events
  • Working as assistant teachers in the After School Program
  • Volunteering at the all-school play
  • Working at Community Servings and/or Boston Food Bank
  • Participating in the Global Citizens Action Project
  • Being on the Inly Montessori Model United Nations team
  • Heifer International (Participation in global curriculum at Overlook Farm)

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