“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” --- Anne Frank
"Remember that when you leave this earth you can take nothing of what you have received, but only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage." ---St. Francis of Assisi
An integral part of St. Mary’s School is the Community Service program, which promotes the personal experience of serving those in need. As we are committed to increasing students’ awareness of their role in the community, we require each student to perform a minimum number of hours of service each year – to the school, parish, community agencies, or private families in need. Middle School students earn at least 10 hours each year, while Upper School students perform a minimum of 25 hours.
While some hours are earned doing projects as a class, most hours come from services you do on your own. Each time you perform a service, you fill out a Student Community Service Form. This form is to include the signature and phone number of your supervisor(an adult and not a fellow student). If you are unable to get a supervisor signature, your parent can sign the slip verifying that the work was performed.
Click here to download a Community Service Form.
Blank forms are also available in the literature tray in the office, and in the Community Service box in the Callaway Library. Put completed slips in the service box, as soon as possible after you do the work.
Students should focus on helping the community, particularly underserved populations. For this reason, unless otherwise approved, service should be for a non-profit organization or an individual in financial need. Many students are involved in service through Scouting, 4-H, church, and similar activities. Service at school (under supervision) could include grounds or building maintenance, or mentoring or tutoring students. You may earn a maximum of 12 hours per day.
What doesn't count?
- Work for which you are paid (including tips).
- Family responsibilities like yard work, taking out the garbage, visiting or helping elderly relatives; this also includes helping out at a family business.
- Participation in school events (e.g., school dinners, social events).
- Fundraisers for athletics or school activities.
- Work done for your own personal betterment, or to add to your résumé of skills (e.g., performing with youth music or drama groups, or attending special camps or seminars).
- Babysitting, house-sitting, and/or pet-sitting for friends or neighbors.
- Chores or tasks for neighbors who aren’t in need.
- Helping teach classes that the recipients are paying for (i.e. dance class, gymnastics, etc.).
What kinds of service are considered to be best?
If you are a new student at St. Mary’s, we encourage you to start with a service in which you have some skill or interest. Also look for some long-term service experiences; they help you develop leadership skills and strong relationships, and you learn the most from a longer commitment. We also encourage and award services that show special initiative on the student’s part.
Where can you learn about service opportunities?
Anne Adderson keeps students updated about community service opportunities. You can email her with questions at email@example.com
You can find the latest service opportunities posted in two places: on the Service Board (in the High School Building, next to the Confucius Classroom), and on our Community Service Facebook page. Many of these are one-time events (serving at a non-profit dinner, for example), but some long-term projects are also listed. We announce new opportunities in Morning Meetings.
Community Service Committee students have each earned over 100 hours of service. They are available to advise and assist you, and also work with class and group service projects (such as Thanksgiving baskets).