The Service Learning Department is a resource for all Falmouth Public School students. The Service Learning Coordinators organize a large number of volunteer opportunities for grades K-12 and provide support for incorporating them into curriculums. Started over 15 years ago, Service Learning in Falmouth connects students and teachers with a wide variety of community partners for engaging and meaningful learning experiences through service.
Some of the Service Learning Opportunities for each school are described below. We are lucky to have so many community partners throughout the greater Portland area that support connections with our students in kindergarten through high school.
Senior Teacher visits and other connections with the elders in our community such as writing cards to Veterans to celebrate Veterans Day. Projects such as Kindergarten Wants and Needs unit where students bring in a donation to be distributed through local organizations. The Growing Valentine's Project which has students grow bulbs and decorate containers to distribute to local retirements communities. A school-wide every other month collection for the Falmouth Food Pantry has students bring in donations the Pantry has identified as their most urgent need for local families.
A WIN Enrichment Civic Engagement class introduces students to local, national, and global service organizations and provides hands-on service projects. Grade-wide efforts such as Solutionary Project, Changemakers, and 8th Grade Discovery are supported and give students an opportunity to explore local and global challenges, people and organizations addressing them, and develop their own ideas for solutions, and learn what they can do to help their community by service a variety of social service organizations. The FMS Service Club provides ongoing opportunities for students to engage in service activities.
Offer a large variety of opportunities for in-school and out-of-school service to help students gain new experiences, contribute to the community, learn about themselves, develop new skills and confidence, and reach their service hour graduation requirements. In-school examples include making monthly cards for elders isolated during the pandemic and sorting clothes donations for distribution through a variety of nonprofits. Out-of-school service includes supporting local organizations such as Furniture Friends, Animal Refuge League, the Falmouth Food Pantry, and Maine Needs. Connect teachers with outside resources to create service opportunities and enrich curriculum experiences. Run service trips to support organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Safe Passage in Guatemala. Run school-wide benefit concerts and coordinate the HS Service Club and its over 100 members.
Read about the Community Service high school graduation requirements.
Service Learning Connections: Maine Needs
Maine Needs is a free community distribution center in Portland serving people throughout the State that focuses on providing clothing, household and hygiene products, and other basic necessities to people who are rebuilding their lives.
Falmouth High School students have become part of the community that Maine Needs has created. Students volunteer at the distribution center every Monday afternoon, delivering donations, stocking shelves, and filling orders of needed items for families and individuals.
High school and middle school students also support the efforts of Maine Needs on our school campus. Each week unsold items from Lots for Tots and, monthly, unsold items from Forget Me Nots are sorted and organized for Maine Needs. The FES PTO held a winter gear drive to benefit Maine Needs in the late fall of 2021 for elementary school families to donate to this organization doing so much to help families in Maine.