Service to the wider community is a key part of Brentwood life, and all students become actively involved in helping those in need.
The Upper School Service Learning Program is designed to educate students about how our participation in and service to our community is integrally linked to their work in the classroom. The goal is to blur the boundaries between the classroom and the community and to instill in our students a sense that their actions can positively affect the world around them. Service Learning reinforces our core values of civic responsibility and character development.
Goals of the Upper School Program:
- Students gain a greater understanding of their community and themselves as contributing, caring human beings.
- Students develop a heightened awareness of and sensitivity to the needs of others within their community, and may develop a conviction to serve.
- Students apply academic, social and personal skills to improve the community. They are involved in making decisions that have tangible results; the work is relevant.
- Students develop leadership and team-building skills.
Basic Service Requirements:
Brentwood School no longer requires that a set number of community service hours be performed. Instead, our program incorporates a meaningful service learning project at each grade level to ensure that all students participate each year. It is, however, required that each student participate in the grade level projects. In addition, many courses offer service projects as part of the curriculum. It is up to the individual teacher to decide how to reward/acknowledge the service performed within the classroom.
To encourage students to participate in service outside of the classroom, we have created an honor society to recognize their good deeds. And the word Benefacta is the Latin translation of “good deeds.” Students generally accrue hours by working with a service agency after school hours or during the summer. We have over ten Activities/Clubs this year that are devoted to service. All of these were started by students, and are organized by students with faculty acting as advisors. Learn more...
Direct vs. Indirect Service:
Direct service entails working with an entity that immediately benefits from the work you do. Examples include providing services for low income families or cleaning a polluted river. Indirect service includes advocacy and behind-the-scenes organization to provide services for an entity. Brentwood School honors both direct and indirect service as they are both essential in repairing the world, and in furthering the school’s mission of embracing high standards of character and commitment.
We recognize, however, that indirect service is not as powerful or engaging an experience as direct service. Beginning in January, 2011 we will require that ten percent of all hours submitted for indirect service credit be comprised of direct service experience within the same agency. This policy is consistent with our sister schools.