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Service Leadership

The core values of the Academy provide the foundation and inspiration for the Service Leadership program. Through curricular and extra-curricular initiatives, the program introduces and develops an understanding of the inter-relationships among all people: locally, regionally, and globally. As a result, students come away with a deep sense of responsibility to lead through service to others.

All Academy students participate in individual and group volunteer service projects including, but not limited to, food and resource drives, on-site volunteer work, and student-sponsored and organized fundraisers.

Senior School students must record 55 hours of service (independent of school-led initiatives) to graduate. To be approved, a service project must meet the following criteria and indicators:

Meaningful

The project is personally relevant to the student and valuable to the community.

  • Provides age and ability appropriate activities for the student.
  • Addresses an issue that is personally relevant to the student.
  • Engages the student in a project of interest.
  • Assists the student in understanding the relationship between the service project and the underlying community issue.
  • Results in attainable and visible outcomes that are valued by those being served.

Educationally Vigorous

The project has clear educational outcomes.

  • Provides clearly articulated learning goals for the student.
  • Demonstrates the student's leadership and 21st century skills.
  • Meets the formal policies of the school, service organization, and/or community.

Thoughtful

The project requires the student to reflect on the impact of the project on the community and him/herself.

  • Demonstrates changes in the understanding, knowledge, skills, and abilities of the student.
  • Engages the student in reflection before, during, and after the project.
  • Results in deep and complex thinking about community problems and alternative solutions by the student.
  • Explores the preconceptions and assumptions of the student as a means to understanding the student’s roles and responsibilities as citizens.
  • Examines social and civic issues related to the project, as a means for the student to understand connections to public policy and civic life.

Inclusive

The project requires the student to work with people, organizations, or groups that he or she may not be in contact with regularly.

  • Requires the student to identify and analyze different points of view to understand multiple perspectives.
  • Develops the student's interpersonal, conflict resolution, and group decision-making skills.
  • Results in complex thinking, by the student, about community problems and alternative solutions.
  • Results in the student understanding and valuing the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of those offering and receiving service.
  • Results in the student recognizing and overcoming stereotypes.

Student Driven

The project is planned, executed, and evaluated by the student with appropriate support from adult and peer leaders.

Partnerships

The project requires the student to work with and serve the needs of organizations that support the community. It is preferred that students work with off-campus organizations. On campus projects that receive credit for the service requirement are:

  • Cross-age Tutors (Classy Cats)
  • Drama/Theater- Students may earn up to 10 hours for acting and 20 hours for stage crew per school year.
  • Secret Garden
  • Summerbridge Pittsburgh

Sewickley Academy has adopted the National Youth Leadership Council’s standards and model for service learning and leadership (http://www.nylc.org/).


Learning to Serve


During the second annual Day of Service, more than 800 students, faculty, and staff participated in 22 service projects across the region, donating over 6,400 hours of service.

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