"Seek to do good to one another" - Thessalonians 5:15
"But - I ask you - is it better to be resigned to a life without ideals...or rather...to seek the truth, goodness, justice, working for a world that reflects the beauty of God, even at the cost of facing the trials it may involve?" - Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day XII, 11/24/91
Pope John Paul II High School's Community Service Program develops students who understand service as fundamental and intrinsic to their faith. They demonstrate compassion for victims of injustice and know that they are called to actively commit to building a just society. It is the program's objectives through direct service to others to challenge students' perceptions and stereotypes of those they serve and create empathetic, compassionate and courageous leaders for change. The program is designed to support the School's culture of mutual support for one another and being a people for others. The Community Service program is an extension of this school culture of service into the surrounding community. The School selects and approves placements that permit students to serve others as directly as possible. It is through this contact that not only the lives of those served are changed but the lives of our students. Service experiences are selected and designed to bring about an affective change of heart in our students. With these outcomes in mind, the requirements of the service program are as follows:
- While encouraged to do more, students will be required to offer 80 hours of community service as a graduation requirement during their four years of high school.
- Placements must provide students with as much direct contact with those they serve as possible and appropriate.
- The school will select and approve placements that serve the poor, homeless, shut-ins, disabled, elderly, ill, disenfranchised, illiterate and those with the greatest need of assistance.
- Students are expected to complete their service hours outside of school time. Service to the school is an expected part of the school culture and will not be counted as service hours.
- Faculty and staff are expected to participate in school service projects and model a life of service.
- Students will be expected to reflect, write about and share their service experiences. Time during the Community Period will be set aside for service reflection and sharing.
- Seniors will submit a reflection paper as part of the Service graduation requirement that speaks to their growth through service.
- Selected placements or service sites will be approved based upon age appropriateness of students and will be patterned as follows:
- Freshman will participate in two school planned/sponsored service efforts supervised by faculty/staff.
- Sophomores will participate in one school sponsored event and one school approved placement they select. Sophomores may opt to do two planned/sponsored school service activities.
- Juniors will select two service placements which will be approved by the school.
- Seniors will select one placement for their senior service experience. Seniors will write a substantive paper reflecting on their four year service experience in the context of the Gospel message to love others.
- Juniors and seniors may opt to perform their service hours during the summer. Summer service may be performed out of state/country at approved service sites with approved service agencies.
These service opportunities will be an integral part of each student’s community period class. The community formed within each community period will become a small family of learners focused on helping each other, the greater school community, and the larger South Sound community.