Teaching foreign languages is one of the main activities that students provide for children from poor neighborhoods in São Paulo
Being in touch with different realities, understanding their role in the world, and how it is possible to contribute in some way to the society in which we live. Firmly following the mission of forming prepared citizens for the world, St Nicholas School is proud to encourage its students to participate in the most varied volunteer projects.
As an essential part of the IB, the International Baccalaureate Program used at the school, CAS – “Creativity, Activity, and Service” – allows students to get involved in different actions developed together with the school community to teach those who need it most.
“We partner with different community associations so that students can choose the volunteer projects they want to contribute to according to their interests, skills, and passions”, explains Marijke van Dijkhuizen, CAS Coordinator at St Nicholas School. “We know it is a two-way movement because the students teach the children, but they also learn a lot from each other”, he concludes.
The main volunteer projects assisted by St Nicholas students involve teaching foreign languages. In the Bridge Project, for example, students give online classes to around 70 children from Campininha in Cotia and from the Neyde de Campos Melges school in Jardim Miriam. In Paraisópolis, both at CEI Santo Estevão Rei and at CCA São José, students from St Nicholas teach English and play sports with the children. The same happens at ACOMI (Micael Community Association) in Jardim Boa Vista, where 10 students teach English and Spanish to the children.
Another outstanding project is Make a Wish, in which students make the dreams of children and young people who have serious illnesses come true, giving them back hope, strength, and joy. The St Nicholas students go after everything to make this dream come true, from fundraising to thinking and executing the delivery of a gift or how to provide an unforgettable experience for them.
“Having the opportunity to participate in these volunteer projects plants a seed in each of us to continue doing good for others even after school,” comments Isabela Aris, a student at St Nicholas who is currently involved in more than one volunteer project. “I feel like we have a lot of autonomy, and it’s essential to maintain a balance between our duties and achievements”, she concludes.
About St Nicholas: The school started in the garage of a house that overlooked a beautiful garden and with a generous dash of love for children. This was the starting point for what would become one of the most welcoming international schools in São Paulo. Anna Kirsten started with a group of 6 neighborhood children in the early 1980s by promoting different activities for the little ones. Classes grew until the school took shape in 1993 when it was renamed, St Nicholas School. In 2000 came the authorization by the IBO to implement the PYP (Primary Years Program), being the second school in Brazil to do so. This was followed by the introduction of the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and the I.B. Diploma Programme. The Alphaville campus opened in 2016 and is growing every year; in 2021, the IBO authorized the use of MYP (Middle Years Program). The expansion has not stopped in the last two years St. Nicholas inaugurated the new and modern Primary building in Pinheiros and a new and modern building in Alphaville.