At Roland Park Country School, community service means much more than simply volunteering time. We teach our students to think seriously about using their skills and talents to effect change in the community, and they regularly amaze us with their generosity of spirit. Our students engage in community service as a selfless act of kindness, of inspiration, of mentorship or friendship. Opportunities for leadership and service are frequent for Lower, Middle and Upper School students and the effect of our students’ participation is transformative, not only for the population served but for the students serving.
In the Lower School, each grade level pursues a “Bear Hugs” project. Student leaders research charitable organizations, make a selection, and present their cause to the class. Once a cause is selected, students and teachers work together to choose a means to help.
Middle Schoolers complete individual community service projects, as well as grade-level projects such as a mentoring and tutoring partnership with a local public kindergarten, or garden and trail maintenance and nearby Cylburn Arboretum.
During her Upper School years, an RPCS student has the opportunity to deepen her commitment to service through our 60 hours community service requirement—40 hours must be completed under the auspices of a single organization and the remaining 20 hours can be served at that same site or through a multitude of other opportunities. To document her hours, each student is required to file paperwork that includes a supervisor’s evaluation and a self-reflection, providing the opportunity for each girl to experience and give feedback on their experiences, and to give real consideration to the interactions they had and to both the triumphs and challenges of service work. Questions about the Upper School community service requirements can be directed to Janet Weller, Coordinator of Community Service for Individual Projects. Students and parents can find copies of the required documents on their individual community pages after they log in.
Recent Upper School projects were undertaken at food pantries, hospitals, churches, mentoring partnerships, tutoring programs, daycares, camps for underprivileged children, clothing and food drives, animal shelters, nature preserves, and organizations including the Salvation Army, Refugee Youth Program, Jewish Volunteer Connection, Special Olympics, Teach for America, Catholic Charities, the SPCA, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Students are honored at graduation for contributions of 100 or more hours of community service, and the Community Service Award is offered to that student who has contributed most to the Baltimore community through her volunteerism and community.