Lancaster Mennonite Middle School students in seventh and eighth grade raised more than $850 for the Lancaster Refugee Center and Community School by selling Stroopies, traditional Dutch stroopwafels. The students partnered with the Lancaster Stroopie Company, owned by alumni Jon ’93 and Jennie ’95 Groff, who recently won an award for employing refugees to make the waffle cookies.

Lancaster Mennonite Middle School students in seventh and eighth grade raised more than $850 for the Lancaster Refugee Center and Community School by selling Stroopies, traditional Dutch stroopwafels. The students partnered with the Stroopie Company of Lancaster, owned by LMS alumni Jon and Jennie Groff, who recently won the top prize of The Great Social Enterprise Pitch contest for employing refugees to make the waffle cookies.

The LMMS students spent the past quarter studying refugees in their current and historical contexts. The idea to raise money to help refugees arose from their compassion for refugees and their desire to take concrete action to make a difference locally.

LMMS students engage in service learning activities as a part of a new problem/project-based learning initiative in the middle school. This initiative engages students in inquiry-based experiential learning with an emphasis placed on the necessary skills of the 21st century: critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. As a faith-based leaning community, the school also incorporates an additional “C” for compassion.

As a part of problem/project based learning, service learning, or “learning by doing,” allows students to experience the positive impact that their learning and collaborative efforts can have on the local community and broader world.

According to Superintendent J. Richard Thomas, “Service learning readily incorporates our faith and enables students to live out our mission: Centered in Christ, Transforming Lives, Changing our World.”