NIS Stories

The Power of IB CAS in Action: Food, Fun, and Philanthropy!

A group of people stand behind a long table, serving people food at an international food fair.

In the realm of international education, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program stands out for its holistic approach to learning. One of the cornerstones of the IB curriculum is the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) component. CAS is more than just a requirement; it's an experience that fosters personal growth, global awareness, and community engagement.

At its core, CAS is designed to complement academic studies by encouraging students to actively engage in creative pursuits, physical activities, and meaningful service projects. But why is it so integral to the IB curriculum? Firstly, CAS cultivates learning through action and experience. In today's interconnected world, academic excellence alone is not enough. Employers and universities seek individuals with diverse skill sets and a broad range of experiences. CAS provides students with opportunities to explore their passions outside the classroom, whether it's through artistic endeavors, sports, or community service initiatives.

Moreover, CAS enhances critical and creative thinking skills. Through hands-on projects and real-world challenges, students learn to think innovatively, solve problems collaboratively, and adapt to different situations. Whether organizing an event or tackling a community issue, CAS encourages students to approach problems from multiple perspectives and develop innovative solutions.

But perhaps one of the most significant aspects of CAS is its focus on service and social-emotional learning. Engaging in service activities allows students to develop a deeper understanding of social issues and cultivate an empathetic worldview where they feel responsible for themselves and the world around them. By working alongside community members and addressing real needs, students learn to appreciate diversity, embrace inclusivity, and become compassionate global citizens.

All of these aspects were wonderfully demonstrated recently by a Grade 11 student, Tsubame. She undertook an ambitious CAS project that exemplifies the program's principles in action. Inspired by her passion for global cultures and her desire to make a positive impact, she used the SDG goals of Zero Hunger (#2), Good Health and Well-being (#3), Quality Education (#4), and Clean Water and Sanitation (#6) to inform her project and organized an International Food Fair.

This Food Fair was no ordinary event. It was a celebration of diversity, unity, and community spirit. Parents, students, staff, and the local community came together to showcase cuisines from thirteen countries, reflecting the rich tapestry of world cultures and the microcosm of NIS, too!

But the Food Fair was more than just a great meal of unique flavors to satisfy the hungry audience members on their way to the Spring Musical; it was a platform for social change. In total, over 70,000 yen was raised to support an international organization focusing on the SDG goals Tsubame holds paramount, while also furthering both her and the school's commitment to social responsibility. Through the shared experience of food and fellowship, the school’s mission of Inquire, Inspire, Impact, could be significantly realized.

"I am so thankful to everyone who came to support the Fair!" said Tsubame. "I think it was a success, raising over 70,000 yen to be donated to a Non-Profit Organization that supports less fortunate communities, contributing to SDG Goals. I would like to thank all participants who volunteered to cook a dish from their country/region. Because of them, it was possible to raise as much as we did. I would also like to thank the teachers and support staff who have supported me throughout organizing this event as I would not have been able to do it without their help. I have learned a lot from organizing this food fair and feel that it has significantly contributed to my DP journey, as a part of my CAS. I am grateful for this open opportunity. It gave me the experience to take initiative, plan, and execute an event." - Tsubame

The International Baccalaureate CAS requirement is not merely a checkbox to be ticked off; it's a journey of self-discovery, service, and global citizenship. By embracing the principles of CAS, students not only fulfill academic requirements but also emerge as empowered individuals ready to make a difference in the world. The Food Fair is just one shining example of the transformative potential of CAS. Stay tuned for more reports from this class of ‘25 that will remind us all of the power of education to inspire change and create a brighter future for generations to come.

See more photos from the event here!

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