Service Learning at Heathwood Hall
Service to the community has long been an essential component of the Heathwood Hall experience at all age levels. As an Episcopal school, we are charged both with contributing to the greater good of our community and with developing students not just as learners but as active, engaged citizens who have empathy, compassion, and understanding for all of God’s people.
Service learning at Heathwood marries the impact students can have on the community with the community’s impact on the students. Through their work on service projects, students learn about problems and needs in the community such as hunger, poverty, differently-abled individuals, and the struggles of veterans. In addition to their service work, students research the history of the issue and how it affects the communities in which they live. Then they learn about the organizations that seek to address those issues in local communities. Through this work, they develop their capacity to serve as God’s hands in the world, strengthening and lifting up those around them
Community Service by Division
Early Childhood and Lower School
For younger students, service learning is connected to our students’ social, emotional, and spiritual learning. As students explore concepts of helping, caring, and sharing through their work with our Chaplains and Guidance Counselor, they participate in service projects that put those concepts into practice, such as collecting food for Harvest Hope Food Bank, candy for members of the military serving overseas, and supplies for needy children in the Midlands.
Middle School students are learning about all aspects of hunger through their work with Harvest Hope Food Bank and the Souper Bowl of Caring. In addition to reflecting on what it might be like to experience hunger, they pair their service with exploration of food deserts and local and national hunger statistics.
In the Upper School, the school-wide community service program becomes a more formal and individualized experience. Each student is required to complete 20 hours of community service each year. Students are free to pursue service opportunities that are of interest to them and make an impact on the community.
As part of the culminating set of experiences for our students, in conjunction with Baccalaureate and Commencement, seniors travel together to Johns Island, accompanied by faculty, for a three-day service project to restore homes for those in need of assistance. The Johns Island Service Project has been a part of the Heathwood Hall experience for over 30 years and serves as a powerful experience of unity and service for our graduating seniors.
- Gills Creek Clean-up – Adopt-A-Highway Project – 52 student volunteers collected over 1,200 pounds of trash along S. Beltline Blvd.
- Harvest Hope Food Drive – Heathwood families donated 2,232 pounds of food to the Harvest Hope Food Bank, helping to provide 1,860 meals to those in need.
- National Junior Honor Society Diaper Drive – Students collected 16,071 diapers for Harvest Hope over the past two years.
- American Red Cross Blood Drive – Heathwood volunteers gave 25 units of blood, enough to potentially save 75 lives.
- Deck the Hall Family Event – The 2019 Deck the Hall 5K/2K and Kids Fun Run & Reindeer Games raised over $5,000 for Camp Cole and the Johns Island Service Project.
- Salvation Army Battle of the Bells – For the 17th consecutive year, Heathwood Hall students, faculty members, and parent volunteers participated in the Salvation Army Battle of the Bells. Fifty-one student volunteers gave over 100 hours of their time and raised over $1500.
- Hudson’s Heroes – Student and adult volunteers packed 400 boxes of food for families in need.
- The 2019 Turkey Trot – Middle School students raised more than $13,000 for Harvest Hope.
- Presidential Community Service Award – In the past two years, 28 Heathwood students earned the Presidential Community Service Award given by the Points of Light Foundation. The students qualified for the award by volunteering at least 100 hours over the course of a year.