On Tuesday, November 5th, a delegation of educators from China visited Oakland International High School to learn more about the school's approach to environmental service-learning.
Wujing Harrison from the Yigongyi Center for Nonprofits organized the visit to help advance a goal of including service-learning in high schools throughout China. The delegation included Mr. Wang Lujun, the Deputy Director of the Service-Learning and Leadership Institute of The Chinese Society of Education, as part of his visit to the United States to attend the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.
Teacher Liza Richheimer provided a tour of the campus and explained her efforts to engage students in meaningful service-learning opportunities to meet a variety of goals. "Service-learning helps our recent immigrant students practice English language skills and explore career options, but more importantly, it helps them make a difference in the community, gives them a sense of belonging and lets them know they matter," explained Richheimer.
The delegation learned about students' prior work to study the campus waste stream and design waste reduction systems for the cafeteria, then the delegation observed the system in action.
A tour of the campus highlighted a variety of edible landscapes installed by students and parents working together to bridge differences between cultural groups, build a campus community, and advance healthy nutrition.
This summer, Wujing Harrison hopes to organize a delegation of service-learning leaders and practitioners to attend a conference in China to help build a vision for youth engagement in Chinese schools through service-learning.