One Way to Unlock Possibilities for Your Teen

Posted by Templeton Academy

service learning, self-esteem

At Blyth-Templeton Academy we understand the challenges of adolescence. Our students are experiencing the uncertainty of not knowing who they will become, but are drawn to experiences and activities that will help them find out.  We are committed to providing the opportunities for our students to explore their options in the world as they fulfill their academic goals. One of the ways we do this is through the service learning component of our curriculum. 

To start with, all our students engage in projects that help serve our community. We  provide settings and opportunities for unique and different experiences that encourage teens to experiment with various interests and personas.  We know that young people who are exposed to situations both similar and dissimilar to their own will expand their world view. For example, volunteering in the community and working with others to solve problems can help build self-esteem and open doors to new possibilities. Whether it’s building garden beds, growing vegetables, or tutoring neighborhood students, we are continually exploring ways for our students to get involved and make a difference. Our teens and their families quickly become aware of how valuable their community giving is.

Service learning experiences
benefit our students in many ways. Here are just a few:

  • Teens' self-esteem is boosted by positive experiences in real world environments where their contributions and skills are recognized. 
  • They learn to be responsible and mature citizens, gaining real life knowledge about new or different populations and the work and goals of civic organizations.
  • They develop a sense of connectedness to the school and community, where they feel valued for their contributions.
  • Students who participate in carefully designed community service experiences develop a higher level of attachment to school and increased engagement and motivation.

 Blyth-Templeton Academy offers two types of service experiences:

School Sponsored Service Learning Activities

To build camaraderie around service, group service learning obligations are scheduled by the School. Students are expected to participate in these group service learning events throughout the school year.

Individual Service Learning Experience

In addition to the school sponsored service activities, each student is expected to perform an individualized service learning experience. The experience should involve service in an unfamiliar setting that services underserved or disadvantaged communities with which the student is also unfamiliar. This service may be performed during free periods of the school day, after school, on weekends, during school year vacations, or during the summer. This community service must meet specific guidelines, including:

  • Performed outside of the Blyth-Templeton Academy community;
  • A minimum of 75 hours during one calendar year, up to 10 hours of which can be necessary training and preparation for performing the work to be conducted;
  • Nonpaying, consistent volunteer work in one activity;
  • Performed for an individual or community whose culture/circumstances is/are different from the student's;
  • Provide regular, direct interaction with the disadvantaged individual or population being served.

Every Blyth-Templeton Academy student is expected to fulfill their service learning requirements to qualify for graduation. They have to first submit a detailed description (Service Learning Contract) of their proposed project for approval. At its conclusion, each project is evaluated by the student and the project supervisor.

Our service-learning experiences are meaningful, last for an extended period and provide time for reflection.  Our students have the freedom and encouragement to become engaged in learning to know / learning to do / and learning to be. We know that students who are encouraged to believe in themselves and explore are more likely to be curious, find passion and possibility, and understand their gifts and how they can use them in a way that brings them joy and serves others. 

 Free Download | "Is Experiential Learning Good for My College-Bound Student?"


About Templeton Academy

Temp Keller
Templeton Academy is an experiential micro school with locations on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and in Nashville, TN. It offers an academically rigorous curriculum designed to foster intellectual curiosity through active learning and community exploration. The small class sizes ensure that each student has a front row seat in classes with an average size of 10. Our model combines a warm, inviting atmosphere with great teaching that allows our students to flourish. Schedule a visit soon.

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