Our programs educate, engage, and inspire youth to take action on some of the world’s most pressing local and global issues. Over the last 25 years, we have honed our approach and become leaders in providing experiential service-learning and currently serve as an educational partner to over 18,000 schools across Canada, the U.S. and the UK. WE is cause inclusive—each year young people participating in WE Schools programming do service actions in support of over 5,000 local and global non-profit organizations. During the 2018-2019 academic year, our programs impacted over 5.5M youth who logged over 10.5M hours of service through WE programs.
WE is grateful for the opportunity to work with impactful partners to be able to support their service-learning programs. Below are two partners who have activated WE’s unique model into their existing educational structures.
WE has experience working in partnership with various levels of government to achieve specific objectives related to youth service initiatives. WE first started its service-learning programs in 1999 when the organization played a critical role in supporting the roll-out of Ontario’s 40-hour service requirement for graduation. The Toronto District School Board partnered with WE Charity to develop a program that would train youth and equip educators and students about service-learning. WE Charity developed a comprehensive curriculum, a student guide called “Take Action: A Guide to Active Citizenship”, offered hands-on leadership workshops in schools, professional development training programs for educators, and celebrated and recognized the service actions of young people at WE Day events.
WE Charity continues its partnership with the Toronto District School Board, and our service and civic engagement programs are supported by 30 official school board partners and 3,200 schools across the province of Ontario. This model was subsequently adopted by the majority of school boards in Canada, with 7,000 schools and groups actively engaged in WE Schools programming. Today, WE Schools is implemented with 130+ school board and government partners across Canada.
In 2017, the College Board approached WE to form a partnership to scale service-learning.
The College Board is a U.S. non-profit formed in 1899 to administer college entrance examinations, which today including the SATs. Together, College Board and WE launched AP with WE Service, which includes the first and only verification system to recognize service on the AP transcript when students apply to colleges. AP with WE Service combines college-level learning from the Advanced Placement® Program with WE’s service-learning model to create an opportunity for AP students to apply their classroom work to the real world.
In this program, AP students engage in service-learning activities to build on their AP course content and skills, using what they’re learning to tackle real-life social issues. With the AP with WE Service program, students have created the following projects:
• Creating an app to help people who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks (Computer Science A) • Advocating for improved prison conditions to state legislators (AP U.S. Government and Politics) • Building a fuel cell to provide electrical energy to areas affected by natural disasters (AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism) • Surveying the community to help local nonprofits combat homelessness (AP Statistics)
Students that join the AP with WE Service get the chance to build and demonstrate skills such as:
Civic engagement: Students build an understanding of their active role and ownership in solving today’s local and global problems and are motivated to be agents of change.
Leadership: Students perform a role within the project team to own their respective work and present results to community members to motivate further action.
Critical thinking and analysis: Students complete a needs assessment of the problem, draw conclusions, and evaluate project impact.
Communication and collaboration: Students work collaboratively within teams and with community members to research, plan, and execute service projects by expressing opinions, clearly communicating ideas, and defending a position with evidence.