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Students who learn studies and social responsibility as well

STUDENTS from Primary School at Western International School of Shanghai recently were engaged in sorting and packing school resources in preparation for transporting them to their contemporaries in the Xingren Town Primary School in Sichuan Province's Anxian County, which was devastated in last May's devastating earthquake.

WISS started this year's "Giving Appeal" two months ago with all the student body directly involved in thoughtfully choosing and purchasing school items such as stationery, books, sports equipment and educational toys which will assist the earthquake-affected students to have sufficient resources to support their learning. At the scene, the students work as active participants responsible for sorting the items from individual "giving" bags into big boxes in the same category.

As an IB candidate school, "caring" is an essential element of WISS' learner profile. In an effort to cultivate caring and compassionate world citizens, the school has been endeavoring to develop a culture of giving and service over the past three years, during which the WISS community has helped the Shanghai Children's Home, the Xujing Nursing Home, and the Shanghai Community Center as well as area migrant people, with its lately developed structured English language program.

In the immediate aftermath of last year's earthquake, WISS initiated a school-wide fund drive which raised 67,221 yuan (US$9,824) for the Red Cross.

Tied up with that initiative, this year's project focuses on working in cooperation with BlueScope Steel, one of Australia's largest blue chip companies, to rebuild and resupply the school which is slated to be completed this month.

"Schools building schools is a phrase often used by the IB in developing relationships between schools around the world. I believe this giving allows our students an opportunity to take their learning beyond intellectual attainment and to demonstrate their personal commitment to action and service in a larger community," Primary Principal Meryl Siggs comments.

The school will also partner up with Couleurs de Chine to enhance a school in the name of its deceased founder, Francoise Grenot, in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, WISS has collected a total of 82,283.5 yuan which is being handed over to Grenot's colleagues. The donation will build a new dining hall/activity center at the Danian Boarding Middle School and provide furnishings as well.

WISS Director, Dr Alfonso Orsini, says: "It was our privilege to honor the memory of this extraordinarily giving woman. She was a unique person and a great role model for all of us."

The various philanthropic projects have seen the continued support and giving from the WISS community, and the school's ongoing commitment to charity and service will afford its students more opportunities to take responsible actions and make a difference to the quality of people's lives.


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