Service Learning in

Winchester Public Schools

MLK Press Release *

What is Service Learning?

Service learning is a teaching method in which classroom lessons are applied to addressing real needs in the community. The strongest learning experiences allow for: youth initiative, time for reflection on the service experience, and opportunity for students to demonstrate acquired skills and knowledge through service. Positive outcomes include:

  • Development of youth leadership
  • Increased student engagement
  • Students informed of possible careers
  • Community building
  • Authentic assessments


Students from WHS Connect & Commit Club made fall-themed decorations to share with residents at the Aberjona Rehabilitation & Nursing Home at their October meeting. Several students visited the home October 23rd and beautified the common areas. They look forward to sharing with residents throughout the school year.


Relay for Life Winchester Leadership Team, to benefit the American Cancer Society, has begun planning for a packed year of informational and fundraising events. Students kicked off the event year with a Pink Out at Winchester High School on October 25th for Breast Cancer Awareness, as many students and faculty showed their support dressed in pink. The Leadership Team is looking forward to cooking dinner and providing evening entertainment for patients staying at Hope Lodge in Boston on December 9th. If interested in helping the fight against cancer by being part of Relay, please go to Relay for Life Winchester site.

Significance of Relay for Life

WHS Science Classes Rise Against Hunger

Ms. Chakladar's classes began the school year learning about nutrients that all living creatures need to survive. They then explored the impact of culture, climate, and politics on food and nutrition around the world. Melanie Conn of Rise Against Hunger came to WHS to share about how their organization addresses the challenge of food scarcity around the world. Spurred to service, students are now raising funds to purchase ingredients for dry food packets, and once they reach their goal, they will hold a food packing event so that Rise Against Hunger can send meals to an area of the world in need.

Service Learning in Our Schools and Beyond


Teachers in Winchester Public Schools strives to make Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math engaging for all students, from the youngest student in kindergarten to graduating seniors. One goal of Kathryn Dwyer, our K-5 STEM Coordinator, is to bring together older students who have developed a passion for STEM subjects, and facilitate them inspiring younger students with their academic passion.

The WHS STEM Club was born out of this vision last year, and now a dedicated group of teens travels to our various elementary schools sharing their challenging lessons in a fun, engaging way. Lessons range from the impact of waste and plastics on our oceans to our changing climate to coding to program robotic mice. WHS students are responsible for selecting relevant and engaging topics, planning and delivering lessons, and working directly with the younger students.

Zen Garden Club Close to Reaching Goal of Creating Garden of Reflection

When French teacher Eileen Milner spoke with her classes about student stress, as well as the losses of loved ones and friends in the recent past, she knew she had to take action. She began taking her classes outside to garden, practice mindfulness, and have fun, all the while conversing in French. These outings soon grew into a student club that began planning for a more formal garden that could be shared by all students.

As the Zen Garden Club gathered ideas, they consulted Mr. Peter White of Zen Associates, a local expert in the field of landscaping, who donated his time to draw up sample plans for a Zen-themed reflective garden based on student input. Students met with school administrative representatives, including WHS principal Dennis Mahoney, Superintendent Judy Evans, and the Winchester School Committee to explain their goal of creating an out of doors space for students to decompress. During these meetings, students learned about the approval process for making their dream garden a reality. They also met with supportive members of the community, including Jay Gill of the Town Public Works Department and members of the Town Select Board to gather more ideas to incorporate into their plans.

The students are dedicated to their cause and have held many fundraisers, including cookie and pizza sales, car washes, and a movie night. In addition, several individuals and organizations have stepped forward to offer financial support, including the Town Select Board, En Ka, the Winchester Rotary Club, WFEE, the Winchester Garden Club, and the Winchester Home and Garden Club.

The Zen Garden Club is now happy to announce that an anonymous donor has stepped forward to offer a matching grant of $10,000, to go towards building of the garden. Students hope that with this matching grant, enough funds will be donated to make groundbreaking for the garden a reality by spring of 2020.

To learn more about the Zen Garden of Reflection and how to support it, visit the Zen Garden website here.

Service Learning Resources for Teachers

McCall Selects Ambassador for Project 351

Eighth grader student Adam Lubomirski from the Silver Team has been selected as this year's McCall student ambassador to Project 351. Project 351 celebrates the ethic of service, youth leadership, and the unifying and uplifting power of community. At the heart of Project 351 is the dedication and compassion of our eighth grade Ambassadors. Annually, educators select their hometown Ambassador for an exemplary ethic of service and values of kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude.

For more information about Project 351, please visit their website at .

Elementary School Supports Unicef by getting Powered Up!

Lincoln School's students getting Powered Up about helping kids around the world and making a real global difference. Unicef is traditionally known for those orange coin collection boxes that trick-or-treaters bring to our doors each Halloween. Unicef Kid Power is a unique, game changing shift in philanthropy. Students engage in five minute interactive videos, which teachers call brain breaks.. These brain breaks are actually quick micro-activity breaks to get kids moving, a proven educational strategy for increasing student engagement. There are also short videos that involve Social Emotional concepts, such as developing empathy for others.

For every 10 Kid Power-Up videos that a classroom completes, funding for a packet of therapeutic food that UNICEF delivers is unlocked. Last year, Lincoln's third graders brought Powered Up to other classrooms throughout the school, and they are prepared this school year to make an even bigger impact.