International School Manila

Integrity - Service - Merit

Service Learning

International School Manila has a deep commitment to involve our community in sustaining and safeguarding the environment, as well as advancing the value of learning, growth and self-awareness as lifelong endeavors. It is therefore essential that all students have both the opportunity and guidance to engage in meaningful service learning experiences. The interaction between students from different grade levels, cultures and life experiences and those of our partner organizations, develops a broader, more inclusive understanding of the world. ISM places great emphasis on students becoming inquiring and reflective problem solvers and it is in this spirit that our students engage with environmental issues. We encourage our students to acknowledge the interconnected complexity of human activity and the environment. Our Service Learning program aims to empower students to address issues of real importance at both a local and global level.

ISM has a naturally transient population with students entering and leaving the school at different points in their education. Regardless of division, all students will engage in age-appropriate learning experiences and activities as they progress through the school. Students will encounter a range of experiences that link issues of service, the environment and sustainability. Opportunity to engage in awareness, advocacy and action are offered in diverse settings through class-based learning and co-curricular activities.

As students move through the school they will develop personal responsibility, self-direction, collaboration and a holistic understanding. They will be encouraged to explore their passions, awareness of the issues, collaborate with others and develop new skills.

ISM generates funds through a variety of activities as well as receiving donations at times of crisis. Two funds are used to support ISM’s efforts:

  • The Disaster Relief Fund - Immediate response at times of crisis
  • The Sustainability Fund - Long-term projects that build capacity, self-reliance and resilience

Service Learning and Environment Committee (SLEC) 2018-2019

The Service Learning and Environment Committee members represent various divisions across the school to coordinate, direct and promote service through the community.


  • Neil Woods - ISM Service Learning Coordinator
  • Amanda Long - ES Service Learning and Sustainability Coordinator
  • Jack Cargile - MS Student Life Coordinator
  • Isabel Alvarez-Casuso - HS Sustainability Coordinator
  • Irsa Sarkawi - HS Assistant Sustainability Coordinator
  • Nadine Dickinson - Livelihood Liaison Coordinator
  • Stephanie Hagedorn - Director of Admissions and Advancement
  • William Brown - Assistant Superintendent
  • Simran Uttamchandani - PCA President
  • Anthi Patrikios - Sustainability Fund Adviser

Student Voices

After this experience I was left with a calm feeling of peace, knowing what I did was right and made some children happy, and with the urge to do more to help.  - Andrea, Grade 8


This trip really opened my eyes. While I was at Habitat for Humanity many people were living in hot weather and in small identical houses, nevertheless the people there seemed happy. I realized how lucky I am to have shelter and food.   - Peter, Grade 8


"Collaboration is the most beneficial learning experience during ICARE. We worked together not only with the ISM students, but also the children that we are going to help. By collaborating with them, we could finish our work relatively well.   - SC, Grade 10


Hospicio de San Jose is a playing- and teaching-based ICARE site that takes place mostly indoors. You have to quickly get comfortable with a wide range of age groups, since you end up talking to both three-year-olds and ninety-three-year olds. The nicest part of this ICARE site is the fact that you get to design your own sort of "lesson plans" for the kids and elderly, although these "lesson plans" are more like "playing plans". It forces you to get organized and also gives you an idea of just how hard your teachers work for your classes each week! My biggest hint for Hospicio: Don't be bashful: just relax, have fun with newfound friends, and brush up on those karaoke skills!  - Lucy, Grade 10


Seeing how our presence, not necessarily the work we do, but how just by being there encouraged the kids was a really great experience for a Bearcat!  - Mercedes, Grade 12


The site is extremely strenuous physically, yet it is extremely rewarding to see the accomplishment in the end. You basically take on the work of a construction worker for a week. - Leo - Grade 12