Round Square and Community Service
“To whom much is given, from them much is expected” is an old New England adage that we at King’s Academy take to heart.
Membership in the King’s Academy community is a privilege, one which comes with the responsibility of sharing our opportunities with those outside our community, especially those in need. It is a chance to give back as well as to receive. We must recognize that service is not a one-way conduit, but rather the chance to form significant human bonds as we recognize our commonality and to enhance our collective wisdom and understanding. As a result, community service is a major focus of extracurricular life at King’s Academy. All students and faculty participate in various forms of service in the community, ranging from monthly orphan sponsorship to teaching English to children, to working with refugee children, patients with cerebral palsy and the elderly, to building homes for less privileged families around the kingdom, fundraising drives and working with nonprofit social service organizations on environmental, educational and social welfare issues. Through the inspiration of His Majesty King Abdullah II, it is the school's plan to include all students and faculty in King’s Academy volunteerism.
- Fikra 3al Mashi
- Habitat for Humanity
- Kursi wa Kitab (Chair & Book)
- Reclaim Childhood
- Weekend Activities
Fikra 3al Mashi (meaning ‘ideas on the go’) is an award-winning community outreach program established in 2015 by three King’s Academy students: Rami Rustom ’16, Sari Samakie ’17 and William Close ’16. The aim of the program is to introduce students to critical thinking skills and to teach basic English, computer skills and internet research skills. The program targets refugee youth from Syria, Iraq and Palestine who are seeking refuge in Jordan’s urban areas, with limited access to formal education. Disadvantaged Jordanian youth in urban areas also participate.
Fikra 3al Mashi aims to help students develop skills to learn by themselves. The program is based on research by Sugatra Mitra that by creating self-organized learning environments, groups of children, no matter what their situation, with access to the internet, can learn almost anything by themselves. The program helps to empower and inspire youth to research problems within their communities and offer solutions to them.
In October 2016, the global Round Square organization awarded Rustom, Samakie and Close the prestigious Kurt Hahn award. Named after the founder of Round Square, the prize is awarded to students from one of the 162 Round Square schools worldwide “in recognition of an exceptional act of service to others.”
Read more about Fikra 3al Mashi:
King’s Academy joined hands with a local branch of the international organization Habitat for Humanity which aims to “mobilize and support communities to implement projects that help people champion decent housing as a human right.” The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to make poverty and homelessness a matter of conscience and action so that it becomes unacceptable in every nation on earth.
Because King’s Academy believes that the home is a key catalyst in helping to permanently break the cycle of poverty and help people own a safe and decent place to live in Jordan and worldwide, students, faculty and staff participate in six to eight Habitat for Humanity building projects per annum. Students work hand in hand with local residents to build homes for less privileged families in Madaba, Taybeh, Mukhaybeh, Ghor Safi and Ajloun. An average of 15 students participate in each build, which often involves an overnight stay in the villages and the added experience of getting to know the area and the community better.
In 2012, King’s Academy launched Kursi wa Kitab (meaning ‘chair and book’), a Round Square pilot project aimed at raising awareness about the needs of children with cerebral palsy (CP) in Jordan.
Jordan currently has only one school for children with CP, and the number of challenges they face concerning physical therapy and education are many. Students at this particular school, which starts at the KG level, are required to transfer to a different institution once they complete grade 10 as it is then deemed the family’s responsibility towards the child’s welfare. Kursi wa Kitab students regularly meet with these families to learn about their struggle – due to physical status – with social integration in the community.
In accordance with King’s Guiding Principles, students took on the shared responsibility to help build a bridge between international CP programs and the people in Jordan. After much research and effort, King’s Academy joined forces with Hungary’s Peto Institute, which focuses on comprehensive physical therapy, to establish a conductive education program throughout the Kingdom.
- To conduct a pilot program (launched during the summer of 2014) that aims to facilitate conductive education for children with cerebral palsy
- To make buildings in Amman accessible through the creation of wheelchair ramps
- Distribution of wheelchairs to children with cerebral palsy
- Social activities for families who have children with cerebral palsy
- Conducting a conference in collaboration with the Peto Institute and Queen Rania Hospital. The conference – for educators, physicians and therapists – set a platform for conductive education in Jordan.
- Organized a concert for people suffering spinal cord injuries in cooperation with the Jordanian Association for Spinal Cord Injury, with the support of the Jordanian Armed Forces and Bike World.
King's Academy seeks to instill confidence, hope, ambition and a sense of community in its students, who in turn offer the same to the displaced girls of the refugee communities outside of Amman.
Through Reclaim Childhood, an organization founded by two female student-athletes from Williams College in the United States, King's Academy students take part in organizing and hosting team-oriented sporting games. This takes place during eight to 12 Saturdays per school calendar year. Basketball, biking, relay-races, swimming, dance and soccer are among the activities designed to empower a new generation of young Arab refugee girls and women ages 8-18.
King's Academy helps with finding student and teacher volunteers who work hand in hand with Reclaim Childhood personnel and the girls. We provide our facilities and transportation to and from the Amman area.