The programs run by our Social and Environmental Experience Department (SEED) aim to blend a comprehensive classroom-teaching program with a variety of community-oriented activities. They provide students with abundant opportunities for enriching personal growth, enhanced civic awareness, and a progressive global outlook, that is in line with the KIS vision to, empower and inspire our students to become transformative leaders, caring humans and thoughtful ambassadors for a just, sustainable and peaceful world.
KIS’ annual CARE Week that took place last week, was one such opportunity for both students and staff to create a positive impact in and around Kodaikanal. The genesis of CARE Week was in the mid-1980s, as a chance for students to be involved in service within the KIS community. Now, over 30 years since its inception, the tiny seed has grown into an entire week (and many opportunities during the year) for students to grow their heart of service. CARE stands for Choices, Attitudes & Responsibilities for Everyone. Sam Zegenbal, SEED Teacher says, “It represents making the right choices, living with the right attitude and being responsible and accountable for our actions as individuals and as a community.”
CARE Week 2019 focused on emphasizing environmental sustainability and serving the local community. Through the week, all grades (K-12) took actions to have a positive impact in society and on the environment. Students took time to create cards to appreciate our Residential Parents, while others gave our cafeteria staff a break, by serving food during lunchtime. Sharing a word of encouragement or lending a hand of service goes a long way in a residential community. “It is our simple, everyday actions of each individual, which have the greatest impact on the larger community and environmental eco-system,” remarks Dr. Rajamanikam, Co-Director of the KIS Center Environment and Humanity.
Every year CARE Week finishes up with Service Day, a day dedicated for KIS staff and students to serve the local Kodaikanal community through social and environmental activities. This year KIS’ initiatives for Service Day included learning about organic farming from local farmers, a clean-up around Kodai lake and the waste dump yard at Prakasapuram, setting-up of a Library in Mannavanur village and hosting students from a local school in Perumalmalai on our Ganga Campus. Jahnvi Roorkeewal, a Grade 11 student who was involved in the clean-up at the waste dump yard highlighted, “It was shocking to see the amount of plastic that is wasted in the wonderful hill station of Kodaikanal. Whether we like it or not, our negative actions, however small, contribute to the waste. The experience enhanced our group’s sense of how we, as individuals, can make a difference.”
Every plant planted, plastic bag picked up, card created to appreciate an individual or group, and social interaction that occurred during the week, truly represented the heart of CARE Week.