Skip to main content
Why Week Without Walls?

Submitted by sgrainger on

Last week our Senior School students and adults were engaged in the 13th edition of our Week Without Walls service learning initiative.

Week Without Walls involves all Senior School students and educational staff and many operational staff in community service, or what we at TCS call service learning. And, while volunteerism is mandated by the province of Ontario in order to graduate from any high school, there is an expectation and interest at TCS in “doing more” beyond the required 40 hours of service.

So, why does TCS mandate a greater commitment to service learning, in this case, through Week Without Walls? Here are some of the key reasons:

Empathy – Through hands-on service experiences, TCS students get to see life from a different perspective. They are not just learning and talking about “need” in the world, they actually get out into various communities and live the experience for a short time. This brief but, hopefully, meaningful engagement is enlightening and contributes to the development of empathy through a better understanding. After all, we can all do better. And helping others, helps us become better people.

Compassion in Action – It is an opportunity for kids to turn compassion into action. They don’t just talk about making a difference, they go out there and do it. Whether it’s volunteering at a local shelter, visiting seniors, or helping out at a food bank, our students are given an opportunity to demonstrate and experience compassion in real life. It’s not just about recognizing need and expressing empathy, it’s about actively working to make a little part of the world a bit better.

Life Skills 101 – For our students, the benefits of Week Without Walls go beyond service; it’s also about developing key life skills. Teamwork, communication, problem-solving – these are the skills that are developed beyond textbooks. When our students work together on a service project they are helping to build a toolkit of essential life skills that will serve them well in the future.

Community Connection – This service week is focussed on the community at large. By actively engaging with local organizations and projects, our kids become part of something bigger. They see the impact they can have on the lives of others and the positive change they can bring to the communities in which they live, learn and/or work. It’s about fostering a sense of responsibility and connection to the world beyond the school campus and demonstrating our gratitude for this incredible region in which our campus sits and the organizations and people that make it so great.

Ripple Effect – It is our hope that Week Without Walls (as well as the School’s other service learning initiatives and efforts) is not just limited to those dedicated days. It has the potential to create a ripple effect that extends beyond the WWW program itself. Our hope is that the values of empathy and compassion cultivated during this week become a part of who our students are – shaping them, and becoming qualities that they carry into their adult lives.

So, there you have it! The reasons why we believe so strongly in the Week Without Walls initiative. It's not just a week of service; it’s a week of growth, understanding, and building a foundation of empathy and compassion that will extend to lives of purpose and service.