Giving back at BCIS

Giving back at BCIS
Giving back at BCIS

The 17th annual Terry Fox Run at BCIS

On a particularly pleasant Friday morning, every single BCISer was gathered either in the ECC gym or out on the Main Campus field. The mood was upbeat and lively, and after a brief introduction from our Head of School, Tom, BCIS erupted with music and activity. Students of all ages, parents and staff were laughing, dancing, and, most importantly, running! What was the cause for such an active occasion? None other than the 17th annual Terry Fox Run held at the school!

Named in memory of Canadian athlete Terrance Stanley Fox, the Terry Fox Run is a worldwide event where communities come together in support of a worthy cause. In 1980, eighteen year old Terry Fox was diagnosed with cancer which required his leg to be amputated. He decided to undertake the monumental task of running across Canada with only one leg to raise awareness for the fight against cancer. Terry ran over 5000km before he had to stop as the cancer had spread to his lungs. Since then, he has inspired millions of people to run and raise money for cancer research. BCIS is proud to join schools all over the world in participating in the Terry Fox Run to raise awareness and funds promoting cancer research. This event is a fantastic way for the BCIS Community to come together and celebrate while working to make the world a better place.

EcoWarriors promote sustainability in the ES

While the Terry Fox Run is a fantastic event cherished by everyone at the school, the spirit of helping others is not limited to this one wonderful day. In fact, students are empowered to act for the good of all throughout their entire journey at BCIS. Opportunities to change the world come both inside and outside of the curriculum at BCIS, empowering students to make an impact and embrace the spirit of service. Students of all grade levels act in extraordinary ways to help our community and our world.

Student involvement at BCIS even starts young! Here at our Elementary School (ES), one group is making waves of positive change: the EcoWarriors. The EcoWarriors are focused on understanding the impact human activity has on our planet and taking an active role in helping the environment. The group consists of students of all ages who undertake projects around the school, such as recycling and composting, to create a greener campus and educate fellow students on the importance of taking care of the environment. ES students who participate in the group gain important knowledge on sustainability, reflect on the things they learn, and act to help our school community.

The EcoWarriors do an excellent job of promoting sustainability on our campus. However, they are not the only ones working for others in our ES. Our students are empowered to give back in the various projects they complete in their classes. For example, our talented 5th Graders have recently been creating their own businesses. In this exercise of entrepreneurship, the students must not only consider the costs of their project, but also how it can be sustainable and help others. A business created by one of our wonderful groups, "Bookworms' Bookmarks", hopes to donate some of the bookmarks it produces to those in need, helping more people find the joy and importance of reading!

Curricular approaches that inspire students to help others

The projects by our Grade 5 entrepreneurs are just some of the examples of how BCIS empowers our students to act for the good of all. Our Secondary School challenges students to create a variety of tasks that will work to empower others in and outside of the school. As they grow and learn, students can take on projects that create larger impacts with the help and support of their fantastic teachers, advisors, and counsellors. One specific program that is dedicated to empowering changemakers at BCIS is our Secondary School CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) department.

In addition to helping students find significance in their actions and improve their skills through individual goal setting and collaborative teamwork, CAS also ensures that students understand that they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities to take care of each other and the environment. "The aim of CAS is to develop global citizens who have the skills and feel empowered to problem solve and take action in response to their community's needs at BCIS and beyond," says our CAS coordinator Katie. Students practice their interpersonal skills in the Core class here at the SS and find ways that they can help solve problems in their community and beyond.

CAS gives our secondary students the valuable mindset of responsible global citizenship. Furthermore, it gives them critical leadership skills, and the support to turn these skills into actions that benefit others. Many of the students enjoy the opportunities to be active provided by CAS and use them to undertake community service and set up Enrichment Activities (EAs) that work towards helping others. Just some of the awesome results that have come from our students in CAS include: "Cleaning up Beijing", a project that aims to keep our city's greenspaces clean, "Unlock", which raises awareness for Autism, a project that helped record audiobooks for the visually impaired, and a group that works to support the Migrant Children Foundation.

Service in the EAs at BCIS

The myriad of marvelous EAs at BCIS give students the opportunity to take charge of making changes in the world. Many EAs, such as "Unlock", are student-led and service focused. "Girl Up", an EA that empowers women and provides them necessary sanitary products for free is another example that helps the school community and beyond. These EAs enrich our school curriculum and provide important experience for students to reach out and have an impact in their community.

Even EAs that do not focus solely on service often incorporate helping others into their approach. An annual art exhibition sells student creations and donates the proceeds for charity. This approach has also been adopted by craft EAs. Animal-loving EAs, such as the Cat EA, help local stray animals. The giving spirit demonstrated by our BCISers extends to all different types of passions, and our talented students always look for ways to help others.

This drive for service extends throughout the entirety of BCIS, both within its curricular and in extracurricular student-led activities. Students at BCIS take the initiative to find ways to help others and give back to their community. Director of Athletics and Activities, Darren, believes that it is this unique blend of curricular and extracurricular approaches that helps make BCIS students so special. "I think there's more opportunities for student action now because the curriculum has an expectation that there will be a level of service that comes out of the curriculum," he explains. The balance of in-class and out of class opportunities offered at BCIS empowers and inspires our amazing students to act for the good of all and for the sustainable development of the world!