Community Service and Student Service Learning
WCIE organizes programs that connect Washington, D.C.’s international community to the local community through community service, and learning experiences that inspire participants to come together to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
Community service programs welcome participants of all ages to engage in volunteer activities to help others. For high school students, Student Service Learning (SSL) programs provide an opportunity to engage in active learning experiences that develop communication skills, build understanding, and address real-world problems.
Our programs are internationally-oriented and designed to inspire. We look forward to welcoming you — or a family member — to our programs!
Our Student Service Learning (SSL) Programs
Our world presents remarkable opportunities but also formidable challenges. Our programs encourage young people to be confident that their generation can confront those challenges.
Youth Facing Racism addresses America’s longstanding and pervasive struggle with racism. The program invites teens to examine these issues more deeply than they typically experience in school curriculum. Participants come together for a service project completed in a moving environment–at Corhaven Graveyard, a historical burial ground for African-Americans who were enslaved in Shenandoah County, Virginia. (12 SSL credit hours, programs in April, June, and October 2021)
Our Youth Facing the Global Refugee and Migration Crisis program explores migration patterns that challenge societies around the world. This program weaves together a diplomacy simulation and a student advocacy project, to encourage teens to consider the global origins of refugee and migration patterns as well as the practical human needs of refugees and immigrants. (Eight SSL credit hours, program in April 2021, other program dates under consideration)
Our Youth Facing the Global Freshwater Crisis program addresses one of the world’s principal environmental challenges. A diplomacy simulation calls attention to how these issues require collaboration that crosses borders, and a student advocacy project invites participants – in the U.S. and internationally – to think about both global and local aspects of freshwater policy problems. (Eight SSL credit hours, program in February 2021, other program dates under consideration)
Students. Our SSL programs are internationally-oriented but open to all students. They are designed for high school students with an international background but welcome students without an international background.
Certification. All WCIE SSL programs are designed to qualify for SSL credit by the Montgomery County Public Schools. Students in other public schools or in private schools may also be eligible for community service or SSL hour credit. Ask your school’s community service or SSL coordinator if your school will recognize these programs for SSL or community service credit hours.
For the last five years, we have offered two Community Service Weeks a year in the spring and fall in partnership with English Now! Community Service Weeks offer many options to participate in small group community service activities. We are excited to announce that our Spring 2021 Community Service Week will take place from April 9th-17th, 2021, with a bonus event on the 22nd; our Fall 2021 Community Service Week will occur September 10th-19th. Join us to think globally, and serve locally!
As you think globally and serve locally, we invite you to consider donating household goods, non perishable food items, school supplies, gently used clothing and more! During our Spring 2021 Community Service Week we will be collecting donations for September House MAJ, Identity Inc., and Bethesda Cares.
Our Community Service Programs: Connecting the Washington, D.C.-Area International and Local Communities
WCIE community service programs are organized in collaboration with English Now!, an English school located in Bethesda, Maryland.
Since 2015, English Now! students and staff have engaged in community service activities with area non-profit organizations including: The Children’s Inn at the the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda Cares, Bethesda Sunrise Senior Living, and the Betty Ann Krahnke Center. In addition, volunteers have helped welcome newly arrived families when they enroll their children in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) at the Rocking Horse Road International Admissions and Enrollment Center. Community service programs are offered in Community Service Weeks that take place twice-yearly, and some community service opportunities are available year-round. Community Service Week will be back, as soon as possible given public health considerations.
Since 2018, WCIE and English Now!, together with the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL), have participated in Welcoming Week, an effort to welcome immigrants and refugees in communities throughout the United States.
In 2019, WCIE and English Now! participated in a MCAEL project to create symbols of welcoming throughout Montgomery County, Maryland, by creating and decorating a door that expresses a welcoming spirit. Students and staff, along with residents of Bethesda Sunrise Senior Living, painted a door with colorful leaves representing our thriving community of diverse cultures. The door was displayed first at the Connie Morella (Bethesda) Public Library, and now resides at the MCPS International Admissions and Enrollment Center at Rocking Horse Road.