Students may choose to spend up to two terms each year in daily afternoon service activities. Current activities include tutoring local students, working in the community garden, or volunteering at the local theater. If a student is interested and has a specific interest, we’ll do our best to accommodate that. Students will participate in three or four days of service each week and are also required to complete two one-hour fitness workouts each week. This program is available all three terms.
An emphasis on community service at The Hill School has been present for virtually the entire history of the School. Issues of The Dial (The Hill's student yearbook) from the 19th century show various service clubs, and the value placed on service remains just as strong today. It starts with the School's mission to "challenge our young people to ... serve the common good," and it is reflected in the variety of ways students (and faculty) serve others on a daily basis.
Part of being The Family Boarding School is acknowledging that our campus is a community itself, and so for all students service begins "at home." As part of the Campus Service program, students will do everything from serve meals in the Dining Room, to assist with office tasks, to help prepare science labs. Students also serve the campus community in a number of other ways, including taking the lead in overseeing the dorms as prefects; planning student activities as members of the Student Life Association; and promoting the student-written Honor Code as members of the Honor Council.
In addition to on-campus service efforts, students benefit from the strong relationships the School has with many outstanding organizations in Pottstown and the surrounding region. One avenue for working with these partner organizations is through the School's afternoon Community Service Program. Students choosing to participate in community service may spend their time in a variety of activities, such as tutoring at a local elementary school or community center; working in the School’s community garden; or working with the local community theater.
The School has made service to the local and regional community a priority, even identifying an increased involvement in service as a goal in its most recent reaccreditation plan. As a result, student involvement in service now extends far beyond the afternoon program. Many athletics teams now take time to perform service acts, whether it's helping move books at the local public library or conducting a sports clinic for local students. In addition, all forms now identify service projects that they will pursue as a form during their time at the School. For example, in 2014-2015 the sixth form rotated through serving at a local soup kitchen on Tuesday nights, and the third form spent nearly 1,000 hours volunteering on an organic farm and with Operation Backpack.
Service is considered an integral part of the way we live in a decent and caring community, and involvement in service is one the School's highest priorities. Students are encouraged to participate in service activities throughout their time at The Hill, and the School supports students who wish to pursue their own service interests if they feel that there is a need that's not being met. The Hill School strives to ensure that each and every student has many occasions during his or her time here to put others first and to help to solve problems besetting the community, and we welcome suggestions for new ways the School can get involved
Mr. Jason Coady serves as the School's Director of Community Service. For questions about Hill's Community Service Program, please contact Mr. Coady at email@example.com.