Creativity, Action and Service or “CAS” is one of the most commonly used abbreviations in ISM. Naturally, as ISM is considered to be a strongly service-oriented school, there is a growing emphasis on giving back to our community. However, not all schools in the IASAS community have the same system; interestingly, they may not even require CAS. To find out, students from each of the IASAS schools in Bangkok, Singapore and Taipei were interviewed to compare the extent of service work in each school.
Jayna Milan from the International School Bangkok (ISB) said that their school also has the IB curriculum, and like ISM, follows the CAS program. Therefore, they have a wide variety of service related clubs that “range from helping local farmers in the neighborhood to assisting Kenyan children to receive a better education”. Similar to ISM’s ICARE, they have a Global Citizenship Week, where students are able to do service work. However, unlike our school, not all activities have to be service related or even in the country. She has done fundraising activities such as the Breast Cancer Hair Shaving event, where she and two other girls challenged people to donate money for the cause. If they were able to raise enough money, the girls would shave their hair during lunch time and donate it to make wigs for cancer victims.
Singapore American School (SAS), located in a developed city state, does not require local service trips. Nevertheless, a student, Lanz Puno, estimates that 75% of the school is in some way involved in a service club of some sort. He says that even though the school does not require the CAS program, the majority of students at SAS still do service work. He says what makes it special is that it is all voluntary. In addition to having clubs like Save The Environment, SAS also has ones that organize fundraisers for the neighboring countries in need. An example is a “Zombie” run and bake sales organized by the Gawad Kalinga club, who raised money to help typhoon Haiyan victims.
Taipei American School (TAS) offers both the AP and IB program, and like other IASAS schools they also have numerous clubs that support and raise money for different foundations. Some of the clubs include going to local orphanages and working with the children there. Lauryn Van Dooren, a TAS student, says that they even have organizations in school that help North Korean refugees. She says that although TAS does not follow the CAS program, they have around 30 service related clubs that show that they are a service-oriented school.
International communities often depend on each other to help through any adversities that strike in each other’s locations. All of the students that were interviewed from the IASAS schools mentioned that they had fundraising events to help the Haiyan victims in the Philippines. This shows that no matter what level of service work the schools do, regardless of whether they have CAS or not, they will always give a hand to neighboring countries in need.
Article By: Fatima Mannapbekova