School Life


Through Annie Wright's community service programs, students develop the passion to serve and learn that they all have the ability to impact a community. Our programs draw on the IB learner profile and the principles of inquiry and reflection and focus on service learning, with the objective of helping students develop from passive to active participants, to volunteers, to service leaders. Every project, regardless of division, is student-centered and designed to be age appropriate. 
Schoolwide service programming exists in the form of House Cup Challenges, involving food or resource drives for local charities.  Often designed and initiated by students across all four divisions, these “competitions” encourage tie color groups to contribute goods to our broader community.

Service programs throughout the school

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    Action is integral to the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) learning process and its overarching goal of international-mindedness. The Lower School curriculum guides students to understand individual and collective action, learning the responsibilities that are associated with being a world citizen and recognizing the benefits of working collaboratively with others. Through this process, students recognize their abilities, competencies and agency in decision making and action.

    Through the different Units of Inquiry (UOI), students engage in age-appropriate projects that inspire students to identify the ways in which they can take personal and collective action as part of their learning, both within and beyond school and in response to local and global challenges and opportunities. These UOI include human bodies, cultural diversity of families, community, cooperation, animal adaptations, compost and food waste, government, and how we express ourselves, among others. Action might come in the form of participation, advocacy, social justice, social entrepreneurship or life choices.
  • Middle School

    The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) philosophy guides the service and leadership programming in the AWS Middle School. A clear scope and sequence has been created that introduces service as action through a variety of activities and volunteer experiences in Grades 6 & 7 and culminates with the Grade 8 Community Project.

    Throughout the regular academic year, students have a variety of opportunities to engage in service. For example, students at all grade levels can elect to participate in a weekly Service Learning Club where they volunteer to support a specific classroom, teacher, or administrator in the school.

    Community Engagement Days occur over two days each year, when all academic classes are suspended, and all the middle school students and faculty are involved. This event connects students with a variety of organizations and experiences, exposing students to direct and indirect service within our school community, the local community, and on a global scale.
    • Starting in Grade 6, each middle school student maintains a Community Engagement Blog in which they reflect on their experiences after each interaction with an organization or community. 
    • In Grade 7, students develop a deeper understanding of service learning by identifying personal areas of interest connected to a non-profit organization working to address a particular concern in a community. Students learn about the community the non-profit serves and gain a deeper understanding of the organization's needs. The culmination of this unit is a public service announcement (PSA) video that is created to publicize the charity. 
    • The Community Project begins at the start of Grade 8 and is a culminating MYP project that allows students to focus on one area of service about which they are passionate. Building on their prior experience during Community Engagement Days in Grades 6 and 7, students have been researching and designing a project that will make a positive impact in the community of their choice.  The project follows the Community Project Cycle that includes phases of investigation, planning, taking action and reflection.
  • Upper Schools

    Service programming in the Upper Schools resides in four primary areas.
    • The Grades 11 & 12 CAS program (Creativity | Activity | Service) is both an integral component of the IB Diploma Program and an AWS graduation requirement.  The program encourages balance as a creative and physically active individual, and asks students to learn through meaningful action and collaboration; developing their passions and skills in ways that make the world a better place.  As part of a 2 year CAS involvement, each student must initiate, design, and engage service opportunities, including a capstone service project which extends their learning while serving an initiative, platform, or a community group of her design and/or choosing.
    • Grade 10 advisory programming is designed to prepare students for independent service work in the Grades 11 & 12 CAS program. The program focuses on developing students' abilities to create strong practices in community connections, personal reflection and goal setting. Using a project-based learning approach, students learn about local non-profit organizations and grassroots service initiatives, and brainstorm ways they might be impactful or uphold the service work of others. This is bolstered through a process of teaching project development, reflection, and personal advocacy skills and includes practice making cold calls, conducting interviews, visiting local non-profits on site, and designing ways to contribute.
    • (s)Elective Programs integrate service opportunities into their programming by way of community partnerships with local organizations and/or designing impact projects that extend their pursuits work beyond the walls of Annie Wright in ways meaningful to the community. 


Annie Wright Schools
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403


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Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower and Middle Schools offer coed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.