Great River School
CAS: Creativity, Action, Service
CAS updates and deadlines are posted on the GRS ManageBac website as of September 2011. Please contact Melanie, IB Coordinator, with questions at email@example.com.
Fulfilling the CAS requirement each semester of your junior and senior year at GRS is a graduation requirement, which means that you must complete CAS each semester or you will not graduate. You will receive a "pass" or "fail" from your CAS advisor each semester on your report card. Over the course of your A3 years at GRS, every CAS experience will involve:
- real, purposeful activities with significant outcomes
- personal challenge
- your tasks must extend you in new ways
- thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, and reporting
- reflection on outcomes and personal learning
CREATIVITY: arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking
ACTION: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle
SERVICE: an unpaid, voluntary, exchange that has a learning benefit for the student
GRS expects you to work on CAS activities for 3 to 4 hours each week. You will work with a GRS staff member as your CAS advisor throughout your two years in A3. Log your CAS activities on the ManageBac website. Talk with your advisor about how you intend to reflect on your CAS activities (ManageBac, journal, scrapbook, digital voice files, e-mails to advisor, etc.). Remember, you need to reflect on your CAS work every 3 weeks, and share some of your reflections with your advisor regularly (at least 5 per semester).
Some of the following websites may spark ideas for your CAS activities:
• Volunteer in the US or in Guatemala for a week or a year. Check out Common Hope.
• Check out how to support strong girls in Tanzania at The Image Project.
• Help kids at a school in another country have clean water to drink and wash their hands with the organization H2O for Life.
• Travel for CAS with Amigos de las Americas
• GRS hosted a screening of Inside North Korea, a cool new documentary, and a talk by volunteers from LINK (Liberty in North Korea). Get involved with one of their projects!
• Looking for a meaningful issue to tackle? Check out the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Millennium Goals.
• Would you like to travel abroad to undertake meaningful work in the world? How about a project like this one in the Dominican Republic?
• Expand your understanding of what's going on in the world by learning about Doctors Without Borders' Top 10 underreported stories each year
• Check out the CAS work that students from Southampton have completed, including service in Tanzania!
• Learn about youth from around the world who have earned the International youth award. Sounds pretty cool and connects with CAS goals!
• The state of the world is the focus at this site. Cruise around the site to learn more about issues of global significance.
• Many IB schools have built relationships with the Tabitha Project and have worked on building houses in Cambodia.
• Bead for Life jewelry is beautiful and fun to sell, and all the proceeds support women artisans in Uganda. You could begin it at GRS!
• Build a relationship with this hopeful school in Guatemala or offer to volunteer there!
• Have you yearned for a mosquito net? Maybe not, but check out Nothing But Nets to find out how something so simple can make such a big difference!
• Who's your hero? If it's not a rat, maybe it should be. Check out Hero Rats to find out why!
• Take a trip with Minnesota's own cool organization Global Citizens Network or volunteer at their office.
• Ever want to be a savvy financier? Start investing your allowance or money you fundraise now! Check out Kiva.
FOOD AND HUNGER
• Volunteer at a neighborhood foodbank. Keystone Services has welcomed GRS volunteers in Roseville or at its Rice Street location in St. Paul. See CAS documents at bottom of page for application materials.
• Provide help to support people suffering after the earthquake in Haiti. Organize a shift of GRS volunteers at Feed My Starving Children in Eagan. More at FMSC.
• An amazing story from a survivor of civil war in Sudan -- if you are concerned about child abduction in southern Sudan and would like to help with a campaign to try to help retrieve two abducted nieces of a friend of Melanie's, check out Save Yar.
• Another incredible organization, Wings of Hope, serves poor people across the Earth, but has lots of volunteer opportunities that might work during Fall or Spring Break.
• "Africa is on fire and we need firefighters." How can you not read more?
• Have you read Three Cups of Tea? You should, especially if you like adventure and mountaineering! Check it out from Melanie. Also check out how you could organize Pennies for Peace as part of CAS.
• You could travel to Afghanistan to volunteer to support this wartorn country. You could also volunteer in all sorts of ways right here in Minnesota to support Children in Afghanistan. Check out how at this website.
• Build a relationship with a cool school in Guatemala, which is supported by Friends of the Poor, an organization with seven high school students from California on its Board.
• Montessori is everywhere! Check out this International Montessori School Directory to find a Montessori school almost anywhere in the world. How could you connect a new relationship with that school to a CAS activity? ENVIRONMENT
• Make GRS greener. Start at Minnesota Schools Cutting Carbon.
• Restore nature at Dodge Nature Center
• Interested in native plants and the environment? Check out Project BudBurst.
• Glean some good ideas from this Montessori EcoArticle.
• Join Friends of the Mississippi River for some eco-activism to help protect and improve water quality in MN. One possibility is organizing a 2-hour drain stenciling expedition.
• Step It Up can kick start your enviro-activism.
• Interested in environmental sustainability? The Alliance for Sustainability website is loaded with ideas and resources.
•Join the GRS Green Team.
• Look for an internship at NextStep Jobs.
LAW AND JUSTICE
• Interested in youth justice and teen criminal issues? Check out this youth justice website.
• Spend Wednesday afternoon volunteering with a St. Paul City Council member
• Intern at the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota (position available-see Melanie)
• Contact the MN State Bar Association and investigate whether you could volunteer in the legal world
• Ask the MN Justice Foundation if they know organizations that welcome high school students to volunteer to work on legal justice issues
• Check out the International Justice Mission for all sorts of ideas about how to get involved in human rights activism.
• Become a High School Page and volunteer at the Minnesota House of Representatives.
• Take a school day off on voting day in November and volunteer as an election judge trainee.
SPORTS AND ACTION
•Like sports? Volunteer with St. Paul Parks and Rec or Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
• If you could shoot free throws and keep someone from becoming an orphan, would you? Check out Hoops of Hope for more info.
• Coach a youth sports team. Check your local rec center or Sports and Recreation Department website.
• Take a yoga or other movement class.
• Become a ballroom dancer.
CREATIVITY AND ART
• Paint a portrait of an orphan from someplace in the world for CAS with The Memory Project.
• Learn how to create a film. Ask Melanie about an internship available with a small grass-roots freemarket enterprise that has a trio of sole-proprietor entrepreneurs, who are extremely personable, friendly & non-threatening ... and eager to share knowledge/experience with somebody embarking upon adult life.
• Create some beautiful bowls; sell them; and donate the proceeds to the Empty Bowls project.
• Make a no-sew blanket and donate it to Project Linus, which donates homemade blankets to children who need some love.
• Step into the art world and volunteer at MIA, the Walker or another art museum, gallery or nonprofit organization
• Urban Arts Academy is looking for tutors. Get involved!
• Like to play? Play with kids at the Minnesota Children's Museum.
• Write a novel in November for National Novel Writing Month.
• Create a piece of art for the Young Artists Showcase for Sister Cities International.
• Interested in art and youth activism? Contact Adrianna Rimpel, Program Manager for the Walker's Teen Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612.375.7628
EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY
• Become a homework tutor at St. Paul Public Library.
• Begin a tutoring service at GRS or volunteer at Crossroads Elementary School just about a mile from GRS.
• MLK Day is in January. Plan an MLK CAS project. Check out this MLK Service site for connections.
• Volunteer at the Minnesota Center for Victims of Torture. One of their projects rehabs donated bikes to give to new refugees in the Twin Cities.
• Looking for a local CAS opportunity to help serve the needs of impoverished Minnesota? Check out Caring and Sharing Hands.
• Volunteer every Wednesday evening at the Wellness Center. Many other GRS students have volunteered there in the past. http://lovegrowshere.net/wellnesscenter.html
• Want to return to New Orleans to give more to the healing communities of this cool city? Find out how! Or volunteer for them from here; read more at the website.
• Learn how to build peace at the Carter Center website. Full of amazing information and connections.
• Tackle an important issue and volunteer with the Sexual Assault Advocacy Centers.
• Raise money for vital medical research. Set up Pennies for Patients at GRS to raise money for Leukemia research.
OTHER COOL RESOURCES
• Find a CAS activity that aligns with your interests at volunteer match.
• Check out the endless ideas for volunteering with your friends and family at Doing Good Together
• Join youth from all over the country and take the Learn and Serve Challenge.
• Apply for a grant to fund your cool service idea with Youth Service America
• Get inspired! Read interviews with inspiring people.
• Who are some of the heroes of 2007? Read about them in the UK newspaper The Independent.
• Read a story from an interesting youth activist.
• There are endless cool service learning projects.
• Do Something awesome after reading these great ideas
• Check out these inspiring videos of Oakland, California students' Urban Dreams projects
• What have other Minnesota high school students done for CAS? Check out this article on a recent CAS Fair.
Current Events and Homework
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5 W's of CAS reflection
Wondering how to write a thoughtful CAS reflection? Read on!
Examples of good and inadequate CAS journal entries
Examples of Good CAS Practice
Check out these examples of CAS activities that involve Creativity, Action and Service. This guide will help you choose activities that involve a new challenge for you, a real task, real consequences, and reflection.
GRS CAS Guide
All kinds of details that might help you plan your CAS activities. You received this CAS guide at the beginning of the school year.
Guide to the IB Diploma Program
Interested in pursuing an IB Diploma? Great idea! Check out this colorful, incredibly informative guide for details.
Keystone Community Services Volunteer Application
Fill out this application and begin volunteering at the Keystone food shelf!
Keystone Rice Street Food Shelf Application
Fill out this application to become an ongoing shopping aide at the Rice Street food shelf with Keystone Community Services.
NextStep Sustainability newsletter
This monthly newsletter is loaded with cool local environmentally sustainable ideas and connections.
Questions to spark reflection
If you're having a hard time reflecting on your CAS experience, check out these sample stem sentences.
Great River School