Community Service

PHILOSOPHY OF SERVICE COMMITMENT

As a member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, Sacred Heart Heart Academy Bryn Mawr commits itself to educate to I) a personal and active faith in God, II) a deep respect for intellectual values, III) a social awareness which impels to action, IV) the building of community as a Christian value; and V) personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom. As students participate in community service activities, they work toward all of these goals, but most specifically toward Goal III - a social awareness which impels to action. Through the use of their time and talents, our students work to create a more just world where each person’s dignity is respected. The work in which our students engage is diverse and meaningful, ranging from senior homes to urban food programs, from local events to national programs. It is the hope that students develop relationships with those whom they serve and therefore build community in new ways. Students engage in reflections on service throughout their religion courses, allowing them to grow in their understanding of the world and in their compassion to all.

Goal 3: Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to a social awareness which impels to action.

Upper School

The philosophy upon which Sacred Heart is based calls for the educated Christian to respond to the needs of others. Community Service is designed to help students learn about the different needs of the community and apply their talents to them.


All Upper School students have a community service requirement. The Community Service Handbook contains the by-laws of the organization, lists planned activities, and contains copies of the “Act from the Heart” form to be completed for each activity.

The requirement for Upper School students is 25 hours per year. Service hours performed during the summer do count for the year’s requirement, as the recording period is June 1- May 15. At least fifteen of these hours must be done for a cause outside of school. In order to graduate, all students need a minimum of 100 hours.

"No one can claim the name Christian and remain at ease in the face of the hunger, hopelessness, insecurity and injustice found in the country and the world." (U.S. Bishops' Pastoral on the Economy)

Middle School


Middle School Students are required to participate in ten Community Service events during the school year. Each “event” is recorded on a separate “Act from the Heart” form which is signed by an adult who supervised the event. Events completed during each quarter of the school year must be submitted to a CSC representative or the CSC faculty moderator by the end of that quarter. Events submitted late will not be accepted. The number of CSC events completed will be reported on each report card. “Act from the Heart” forms can be found on the school website.

Definition of Community Service

Community Service is defined as “Actions performed by a student that benefit the School, church and broader community.” (Article X, Section I of the CSC bylaws)

“Babysitting for free for relatives or family friends or working at a parent’s office for free is NOT considered community service. Likewise, activities performed for family members, such as visiting sick grandparents or helping one’s own parents or neighbors, are actions of a good family member and are not considered community service.” (Article X, Section II of the bylaws)

“Activities performed for membership in clubs or organizations of Sacred Heart (such as National Honor Society tutoring or choir functions) are NOT considered community service as they are part of membership responsibilities in these organizations.”(Article X, Section III of the bylaws)

Middle School Students who do not complete ten CSC events during the school year are not eligible to run for election to office of any organization and are not eligible for induction into the National Junior Honor Society.

Categories of Community Service

Direct Service

  • At least ten hours should be working with a population in need. Examples would be cooking at a soup kitchen, boxing food at a food pantry, volunteering at the Special Olympics, etc.

In-Direct Service

  • This type of service includes events that raise funds or items for a foundation or cause. Examples include walks and runs. Only one event, totaling no more than two hours, may be counted per school year. Additionally, the student must meet the financial requirement of the event.

Advocacy

    • In an advocacy related service, students work to raise awareness around a specific cause that works to advance social justice.

Donations

  • Up to five hours of service may be counted annually. The school organizes collections of food, coats and other items throughout the year. Students may also donate clothes to various organizations. In order to earn hours through donations, students should complete the conversion form found on the CSC Moodle page.

Day of Service

  • Once in the fall and once in the spring, SHA Bryn Mawr organizes a day of service for our students. On this day, students are bussed to local organizations to volunteer for the day (within school hours). These hours are direct service and count toward their twenty-five hour commitment.
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