CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) is a core component of the IB Diploma Programme because it stresses the importance of developing life balance.
For her CAS project, IB Diploma student Parker Morrison ’23 collaborated with Senior School Round Square members Tallulah and Louisa to run a winter clothing and hygiene item drive for Our Place Society.
“It started as a book drive idea, but I realized books weren’t the most in-demand thing,” Parker explained. “It seemed the most accessible items are clothing since people have them to donate, or they can go out and buy new to contribute—and Our Place was one of the places looking for them. And it’s a cause I care about, too.”
Taking on a clothing and hygiene drive was a perfect fit for a CAS project, as not only is it service-based but required planning, including getting members from Our Place to present in an assembly on October 26.
“It was a fitting CAS project as obviously, it fit service, but it also fulfilled the planning requirement,” said Parker. “Having to find a time that worked for everyone for Our Place to present took time to coordinate.”
A CAS project is an extension of the CAS programme, where students are involved in creativity, activity and service. Students have the opportunity to create a project based on something they are already doing, or to embark on something brand new. The process must be at least a month-long, connect to either creativity, activity or service, and it has to be collaborative.
“The CAS project allows students to have a focus, amongst all the amazing things they may be doing as part of their CAS portfolios, but to have a focus and lean into something they are really passionate about or excited to try,” explained Ms. Angie Girard, IB Diploma Coordinator.
The CAS programme is an important part of the IB Diploma Programme because it stresses to students the importance of creating balance in their lives. It ensures that students aren’t focusing strictly on academics, but will also use their energy for creative, active and service-filled activities.
“The IB Diploma Programme will not allow a student to put all of their eggs in the academic basket, as the programme recognizes the importance of balance in our lives,” said Ms. Girard. “Students often say the benefits they get from the CAS programme is that it forces them to find that balance, and not just in things they are comfortable with or already involved in. It stretches them to find ongoing CAS experiences in each of the three strands—creativity, activity, and service.”
Ms. Girard also noted the programme is a great reference for university and scholarship applications, as they are often looking for well-rounded, balanced students, who demonstrate strong leadership skills and involvement in their communities.