In 2010 I built the Community Opportunities program for the American School in London. Located in the area of Europe with the widest income disparity, it was based on a set of 11 new community partnerships.
Each of these partnerships is focused around a specific shared project or purpose. For example, at a local shelter for homeless families, the project was for students and residents to work together to create a book of favourite recipes. They cooked one dish together each week, ate together, and listened to stories from the residents, all of whom were refugees. The stories and recipes were bound together in a book which was sold to raise money for the shelter.
In the first ‘season’ 107 students participated. That number is now closer to 200.
Creating 3 ‘seasons’ of community opportunities allows students to do both sports and community work – and sometimes both at the same time.