Doing good is as important as doing well.
Service is an integral part of our curriculum – so much so that it is a graduation requirement. We know that the incorporation of service learning into the academic curriculum is one of the most effective means of teaching students about the connection between what they learn in the classroom and the world around them.
What Upper School students gain through participation in Service Network is an understanding of the world around them, experience with human service institutions, tolerance and appreciation for lifestyles that differ from their own, interpersonal skills and the value of helping others.
To fulfill the co-curricular requirement, students may elect to engage in community service work after school. Each day students visit an array of organizations in the community ranging from enrichment programs for younger children to retirement communities to programs for people with physical and developmental needs. On Fridays, students in the Service Network co-curricular meet as a group to reflect on the week’s work and to explore and discuss some of the larger social questions, issues, and problems their service work addresses. We believe that by visiting sites on a regular basis over the course of a term, students are able to establish meaningful relationships with community members with whom they might not otherwise come in contact. Our Friday discussions frequently reveal an awareness among students about the ways they themselves learn from and are served by those who they set out to teach or serve.
Students may participate in a Westtown-sponsored service project during spring or summer break or as part of Senior Projects. Projects, organized and led by Westtown faculty, include local, national, and international experiences.
A student may design a project fostering a passion or interest not addressed by a school project and which is approved by Service Committee. Individually-designed projects can be completed at any time including vacations and Senior Projects.