As part of the visioning process for the future of the BFS Service Learning & Civic Engagement program, fourteen members of the All-School Service Learning & Civic Engagement Committee – including student, parent, faculty, and administrator participation – gathered on Tuesday, January 22nd at Schermerhorn Meetinghouse for a planning retreat organized by Director of Service Learning & Civic Engagement Natania Kremer and facilitated by Alissa Schwartz of Solid Fire Consulting. They were joined by seven Admin Group members for the final hour of the day to share goals and discuss feedback as well as next steps.
The Committee devoted time this Fall to an internal review of the BFS Service Learning & Civic Engagement program to evaluate perceptions of success in fulfilling the mission, including the service learning and civic engagement goals, objectives, and outcomes generated by the Committee in 2016 as well as the recommendations from our Spring 2014 NYSAIS visit.
The SL&CE planning retreat on Tuesday was structured with the following three components:
1. Naming the moment and situating our work
- What is the historical context of our work? What are the legacies we are drawing from?
- What is the landscape of this work across other independent schools and other Quaker schools?
- What are the challenges and areas of need in our institution, at the local level, and at the national level?
2. Given the challenges and needs, what is our critical intervention in this moment? Just as we’re preparing our students in whatever context they’re in to take transformative action grounded in justice, the work of this office is framed similarly – in response to the historical, political, and social context we are in.
- What changes do we want to make as we move toward the future?
- In what new ways will we approach our social justice work?
3. Surfacing three goals to become our action plan
- What goals will push our program further toward centering the values of Community, Accountability, Reciprocity, & Equity (C.A.R.E.) in our work with young people and community partners?
SL&CE Planning Retreat Participants closed the day sharing their feelings of appreciation, inspiration, excitement, motivation, encouragement, awareness, hopefulness, and gratitude. Committee members are looking forward to devoting meeting times in the coming months to fleshing out their goals into a more detailed implementation chart, which will include developing a timetable of implementation with specific measurable benchmarks, objectives and tasks to be accomplished to achieve each goal. Additional updates will be shared with the school community as the process continues!
For more information, please contact Director of Service Learning & Civic Engagement Natania Kremer.