The overall gist of CAS is for you to become engaged with
the community around you. CAS hours should have at their heart a sense of making other’s lives better. This said, there
are many possibilities and opportunities to achieve CAS hours.
Just one thought about the reflections you write - if you
constantly have to struggle to think of ways projects have impacted you, you need to find more meaningful projects. Painting
a fence will most likely not impact you greatly - whereas playing inside the fence with a disadvantaged kid should. Go ahead
and paint the fence every now and then, but the true spirit of CAS is in the interaction with others and the self discovery
of the world and lives around you. (Maybe after painting the fence, you could go back and watch kids playing inside the fence
to find some inspiration... something along those lines).
The following is a list of examples of the different types
of activities that could theoretically go along with each area of CAS:
Creativity: Create something new or make something that
already exists, better. Also, learn a new skill - e.g. guitar, auto-repair, rowing (crew), painting.
a website with info about an issue you care deeply about
in a new school sport
poetry or other stories for submission to the "Student Work" portion of the CAS website; read stories or poems to kids or
photographs to display - turn in digital copy for "Student Work" section (you could also offer to hang them in teacher’s
an after school program for kids
message boards around the school for important issues
a “Life-Book” for someone in hospice care
a new Fundraiser for a Needy Group
Organize a political
club at school and organize it with local political leaders - e.g. Young Democrats, Young Republicans, Young Greens, Young
for a group (music, a play)
shadow someone to learn what their job is like (think of a career you might be interested in and contact someone
to shadow - e.g. nurse, lawyer, doctor, politician, etc...)
Action: Get your body moving. Do something that requires
some exertion. Make this a planned, organized effort. Haphazard journeys in the park or hiking don't count - it must be organized
a running or biking club - or better yet, start one among your peers
an intramural league at the YMCA
in a walkathon
a camp counselor (no pay)
in the building of a Habitat for Humanity house
up a park/cemetery/road
a play set for kids/Clean up an existing playground
a new garden - at home (and give food to a soup kitchen for example) or in a community setting
a children’s team
(school or recreation league count - football, baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, track, swimming, volleyball, (and yes)
even golf counts as action
in "non-traditional" sports: e.g. Paint-ball, frisbee golf, ultimate frisbee, mountain biking, kickball league (The
key to this is that there must be some organization - just going with a friend for an hour of disc golf won't cut it - organize
a tournament or league; there must be an adult supervisor who can sign-off on what you are doing)
band is considered action - I've seen everyone out there on August afternoons when it's 94 degrees with 450% humidity
to take dogs for walks at animal shelters (organized and concerted effort)
Service: Help somebody
out. The key to this is engagement with others around them. Most organized volunteer work falls under service.
at hospitals, animal shelters, the VA, schools, museums, nursing homes, elementary schools, etc...
chess with a senior citizen/teach chess to young children (or senior citizen)
for a new law or cause (e.g. widening a road, installing audible crosswalk signals)
the media to tell them all the cool things students are doing with CAS and get some press coverage
Other CAS Rules:
CAS and religion... IB's position is that work done through
a church which is not engaged in proselytizing or otherwise endorsing a religion can be counted. Building a Habitat House, delivering
food to the elderly, sending care packages to soldiers... all of these are fine. However, singing hymns for someone,
participating in Vacation Bible School, and reading bible stories to children will not count towards CAS hours.
Do not get behind on your CAS hours. My advice is
to start early. Get a group of friends and do some projects together (you could carpool).
I will have numerous opportunities and contact names for
projects posted outside my door and on the website. The contacts will know about IB and will have volunteer possibilities already established
- all you’ll have to do is call.
I commend all of you for working hard to be in the IB program.
IB is gaining momentum in the United States (in Texas, you enter college as a sophomore if you have and IB diploma). You should
be proud of your effort. Realize though that the IB diploma is respected for a reason - it takes hard work and determination.
When you get frustrated, always keep the end-goal in the front of your mind - that with an IB diploma, you can go nearly anywhere
you want and pursue your loftiest dreams.
If you have any problems whatsoever you need to discuss,
feel free to see me or Mr. Tudor (I will be available 2nd period whenever you need assistance). We will do our
best, along with all the faculty and staff, to ensure your experience with IB is rewarding both academically and socially.