Author: Isabel Wade
Posted October 1st, 2020
Impact: to have a strong effect on someone or something. I sat down with both Ms. Jennings and Mrs. Lambert this past weekend to define really what the Impact Learning program means to not only the faculty, but the students who are participating in the classes.
The new setup of the Impact Learning programs are underway this year at The Winchendon School! Whether you attend in person or virtually, you’re guaranteed to get the best experience out of it.
What started almost a decade ago as service learning and ColLABs paved the way for what we today know as the Impact Learning program. Mrs. Lambert, the head of The Winchendon School, mentioned that the Impact Learning program is a “continued evolution” that brings together the prosperous programs, such as service learning and ColLAB, under the umbrella with the new classes, which makes this the Impact Learning program. Freshman will learn all about who they are as a person and the basic social issues in our world. Sophomores get their pick of four different classes including Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Education Equity, Food Justice, and Environmental Justice. Juniors focus on a broader view of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion class called Oppression, Power, and Social Justice, tackling tough subjects and difficult conversations that need to be had among peers in today's society. Seniors take internships, independent projects, and ColLABs, presenting their experiences at the end of the year. These options also include the ColLabs, an elective style workshop that allows students to explore future majors, job options, or just learn a new skill to share with The Winchendon Community.
The goals this year for the Impact Learning program are simple. Ms. Jennings, Director of Service Learning and Humanities, explains it best when she says, “The education that you receive at the school impacts you, and you impact the world.” This is what these classes aim to do. The wide variety of topics and real world issues allow students to learn what they are passionate about while also discussing their impact on society. The hope is that students will take these lessons that are being taught to them on ethicality, uniqueness, kindness, sustainability, and morality into college, future careers, and their entire lives. The program was created to broaden the spectrum of ways to learn about the world. Instead of requiring community service hours, it is more beneficial for students to choose a class that they want to take and learn more about themselves and others through it. Having these opportunities for students to learn more about their peers and perceptions of others allows students at The Winchendon School to truly learn about relationships between one another.
The only way we can grow is through change and experience, which is what the Impact Learning Program has to offer all of the students here at The Winchendon School. Taking these opportunities through the program will not only benefit you, but benefit the people in which you surround yourself with!