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Why is Service Learning Important to the Friends Academy Experience?

Service learning is a key part of Friends Academy’s mission. Providing opportunities for service to others is one of the best ways that our students grow to become responsible citizens and respect diversity and differences. Service learning is also a major tenet of our philosophy of teaching and learning: we are committed to promoting social justice and service learning in our community.

Starting in the Farmhouse, students begin to serve their community through collections, raising awareness, and helping in the campus garden. This type of service continues throughout the Lower School years. When students get to Middle School, they begin a formal service learning program that establishes them as campus leaders, gets them off campus to volunteer with local organizations, and ultimately allows them to design their own service learning project as a capstone to their Friends Academy experience.

“I thought it was an excellent experience to learn how fortunate we are to not only have a roof over our heads, but the ability to reach toward our bedside table and grab a book to read.”

Sam Gryska ‘17

Service Learning Curriculum

Students take on a formal Service Learning program in Middle School, with dedicated time in their schedule each week for service.


Sixth Grade

  • Take part in a rotation of on-campus service opportunities to expose students to different ways they can contribute to the school community.
  • On-campus service opportunities include volunteering in Lower School classes and working on the campus garden and trails.

Seventh Grade

  • Take part in a rotation of off-campus service opportunities to expose students to different ways they can contribute to the larger community.
  • Off-campus service opportunities include volunteering at farms, youth-centered nonprofits, assisted living facilities, special education schools, and more.

Eighth Grade

  • Building upon service learning experiences of prior years, students build their own capstone service project, individually or with a group.
  • Students identify a community need, develop their idea, execute their project, and reflect on the experience.