Why Community Service is Important
Legendary headmaster J. Carter Walker believed that community service was an integral part of the boarding school curriculum at Woodberry Forest School. He wrote:
“Foremost in our thinking is our obligation to correct the mistaken idea that the purpose of education is selfish; on the contrary, we try to teach our boys that education is training for service to others rather than for success for one's self; to give rather than to get; for sacrifice rather than for gratification.”
Our community service program aims to develop tolerant, selfless individuals who understand others, appreciate their needs, and find community service work personally satisfying. As part of our curriculum, we require our students to engage in community service so they experience the joy of serving others.
Community Service Requirement
Each student must perform at least sixty hours of community service before graduation. At least half of these hours must be "contact hours," spent in direct contact with those benefiting from their service.
How to Fulfill the Requirement
Although there will be opportunities for boys to accumulate service hours while they are at Woodberry, their busy schedules limit their service project choices. They should plan to perform the majority of their service work at home during the summer break and/or breaks during the school year. Most students seem to derive more satisfaction from making one or two major contributions rather than attempting numerous smaller projects.
Documenting Community Service
To facilitate record-keeping at Woodberry, please ask the organization or person supervising the student’s volunteer work to submit written verification of the type of activities he performed and the number of hours he worked. This letter can be mailed to Ryan Alexander or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sixty-hour service requirement is merely a guideline; many students do much more. Each year Woodberry presents the Service Award to the senior who has performed the most community service work. We have honored many students who have earned several hundred hours of community service work during their tenure at Woodberry.
Funding Is Available for Your Service Project
The Class of 2008 Community Service Grant was established by parents and grandparents of the Class of 2008 as a gift to Woodberry Forest. The program enhances Woodberry’s commitment to service learning by providing resources for students who wish to spearhead a service project during the school year or the summer.