Encouraging values through action with community service for high school students
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
Community engagement has always been a central value of American society; and these days, volunteering is still one of the best ways in which people from all walks of life can connect with the power of giving. By incorporating community service for high school students into the realm of education, teachers can make this experience a part of the learning process – and in turn, help to shape a new generation of thoughtful, caring and powerful leaders. At Francis Parker School, we celebrate these values each and every day by integrating service into our curriculum; and next month, we will be holding a Community Service Day to remind one another that giving back is one the best ways to make progress.
Fostering awareness within the community
San Diego is a wonderful example of community, containing within it a wide variety of neighborhoods while simultaneously standing united as America’s Finest City. While each of us undoubtedly identifies with a favorite section of the city, we also learn more about our communities and ourselves when we step beyond the bounds of what we know and experience life beyond the familiar. Volunteer work is one the best ways to accomplish this; and whether it takes place at a food bank or a homeless shelter, a coastal cleanup initiative or simply with a helping hand for a neighbor, service can be a powerful tool that connects us not only to our beautiful city, but to one another as well.
This power can be tapped by anyone, at any age. But as frequent users of community facilities like parks, trails and museums, children are in a unique position to give back and show gratitude for the resources that help them to thrive. By building community service into the college preparatory curriculum, we can teach them to give openly and often – all while fostering a deep respect for the world around them, and encouraging them to be good citizens of that world throughout their lives.
One hundred years of service at Francis Parker School
As we celebrate our centennial year, we at Francis Parker School look back and admire our founder’s belief in the importance of learning through action – and his dedication to teaching young people the value of being responsible citizens. Today, we keep these values alive with community service programs for all students at the school, including the opportunity to participate in service clubs as well as mandatory service hours for Upper School students prior to graduation. In addition, as part of our Centennial Celebration throughout the year, we are holding a Community Service Day on February 2nd in which Parker students and families can get involved in a variety of projects including landscaping and restoration at either the Junipero Serra Museum or the Boys & Girls Club of Linda Vista, volunteer work at the San Diego Food Bank or clean-up at the San Diego River. Learn more, get involved or set up an appointment to discuss community service at Francis Parker School today by going online, to www.francisparker.org.
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