Pechersk School International in Action
by Jacob Ortwein
’The call to action comes directly from the school’s mission statement, which states that PSI wants to ‘... develop successful global citizens committed to taking positive action on behalf of their school, their community and their world.’ Every day at PSI we can see examples of positive actions: students helping to organise school events and raise funds to help other children, PTA working hard to make PSI life better, the PSI Scholarship Foundation, and much more.
In the school’s quarterly newsletter, PSI Life, the school showcases what’s going on around school. Our winter newsletter took the same theme of ‘Positive Action at PSI.’ Attached is the newsletter itself and below are some highlights:
Primary School Christmas Initiative
This year, the PSI Primary School came together with both gifts and monetary donations to support underprivileged children living in an orphanage and also some children from underprivileged families in the small village of Vyshevishi about two hours away from Kyiv. Thank you all so much for your gracious outpouring of generosity!
Kailyn Fullerton and Kendall Jackson, Charity Initiative Coordinators
Children of the world to the Children of Ukraine
With the tension of the on-going crisis in the east of Ukraine rising every day, many innocent lives are caught in the crossfire. The biggest victims of the crisis are children. Children are the future of the world we live in today, and it’s key that we help secure their future, so that they can secure the future of the world. This is the thought that led to creating the PSI Community Action and Service (CAS) group ‘Children of the World to the Children of Ukraine.’ All of the students who participate in the CAS Group are devoted to helping others in need, and in a very small amount of time have been able to accomplish many goals to help internationally displaced persons (IDP) Ukrainian children.
Though it is just the beginning, 'Children of the World to the Children of Ukraine' has had a tremendously successful start to the year. Our effort has just begun, and many great things are to come. We have fallen in love with the children from the Kotsubinske IDP centre, and are willing to work day and night to do everything in our power to help the innocent children. We want to be the change that we want to see in the world.
Ivanna, CAS leader (Grade 11 student)
Grade 9 MYP Drama students are taking action through their study of Verbatim Theatre, and the potential for theatre to influence social consciousness. This style is particularly important in the contemporary world of theatre because it moves away from more traditional forms of playwriting and storytelling. The students have collectively decided to focus their work on the theme of ‘mental health’. They will be taking action by interviewing members of the PSI community, analysing and compiling the stories they’ve collected, researching statistics, and then carefully choosing the material for their pieces. After working individually, they will begin the collaborative part of the process... collectively creating the final piece for performance at the end of January.
Malina Patel, Head of the Arts
It’s always nice to watch students exploring and creating their artwork. But it’s even better when they grasp the concepts, demonstrate their knowledge, apply their skills and take action.
The action might take different forms. Grade 4 students set a good example of this when they used recycled paper to create 3-D paper forms during their Sculpture unit. The students demonstrated they were caring when they decided to use recycled resources. It was students’ initiative to use resources wisely, being thoughtful of saving the planet. In spite of the fact that students used recycled materials, they managed to produce fantastic artwork. This attitude and action prove that PSI students are truly globally minded thinkers, who recognise that even a small thing can change or affect the world.
Anna Belokon, Primary Art Teacher
PYP workshop for Teachers
On 28th and 29th November, all Primary teachers, assistants, the librarian, the Primary administration and the Director participated in an IB PYP workshop titled Action in the PYP. The goal of the workshop was to further develop our collective understanding of action. By the end of day two, we had achieved this goal and are now ready to move forward so that we can better support our Primary School students.According to the IB, action can be a service to other students ‘and to the larger community, both in and outside the school.’ Action is viewed as a logical conclusion of learning that takes place in an inquiry-based program. Our students inquire into a very wide range of concepts, many of which are authentically connected to a local or global issue. It is our responsibility as educators to help students make sense of an issue and provide the opportunity for them to consider taking informed and responsible action on the issue.
Michael Palmer, PYP Coordinator
In short, commitment to action and service is not just ‘lip service’ at Pechersk School International. Students and staff are finding large and small ways to make a difference in the lives of others - both within and beyond the school community.
Patricia Puia, Secondary Principal