In making a difference for others, we discover our true selves.
Chadwick’s community service program starts with the belief that character is as important as academic excellence. Our enriching community service program engages students in diverse, inspiring experiences that shape their view of the world and empower them to make a difference.
Local and international volunteer projects involve grades K-12 and range from serving the homeless in local soup kitchens, teaching reading to at-risk youth and supporting families in orphanages in underdeveloped regions of the globe.
While it’s not mandatory, most Chadwick students choose to be active community service participants because it begets priceless rewards like gratitude, perspective and generosity of spirit. Through community service, our students experience a sense of their personal capability and responsibility for improving the lives of others. They begin to know themselves as empowered change-makers capable of anything. Once that candle of contribution is lit, it’s rarely extinguished.
75 percent of Upper School students participated weekly in community service in 2017-18.
The spirit of community service is ingrained in Village School life, where impressionable young minds learn the importance of giving back. Village students make donations during the holidays, hold candy drives and letter-writing campaigns for families in the armed services, adopt endangered animals and habitats for Earth Day, create book drives to promote literacy and sponsor a bake sale to raise money for Heart of the Village, where they work in family groups to complete these and other service-based projects.
In conjunction with Duke University, students sponsor rock stoves in Madagascar to help save the lemur population while sixth-grade advisories each adopt their own service opportunity, from beach cleaning to helping the homeless.
Heart of the Village
Heart of the Village is a Chadwick Service Learning program offering Village Students opportunities to engage in meaningful leadership, mentoring, and service projects. Wherever possible, these student-lead projects are aligned with their curriculum. Service projects can change from year to year but always focus on empowering students to do their part in making our community and the world a better place.
Community Service in the Middle School reflects students’ growing concern for the world around them with opportunities that are ideal for their overall development. Each grade participates in two “Days of Service” with their entire class each year.
It’s a perfect opportunity for students to have the boundaries of their comfort zone stretched a bit. It gives them a head start in thinking about worlds that they’re not the center of and thinking about perspectives that aren’t their own. I think it’s the beginning of a long process of developing compassion and empathy.
Have a look at some of Chadwick’s community service events and activities:
- Operation Gratitude
- PVP Land Conservancy Hike and Trailwork
- Beacon Light Mission
- Clothing Drive for MHA Village
- Red Cross Blood Drive
- The Salinas Project #2
- International Peace Day
- 24 Hours of Homelessness #2
- P4K Swim Day
- All School Beach Cleanup
- Community Service Drive Luncheon
Our eighth-graders wake up to the challenges facing those without reliable sources of sustenance. On their first day of service, school vans will shuttle students and their advisor to one of the following agencies supporting those in need:
- All Life Charities in Wilmington
- Curt’s Kitchen
- Harbor Interfaith
- Shared Bread
- St. Margaret’s Center
- St. Joseph Center
- The Poverty Program at SS. Peter and Paul
- Toberman Neighborhood Center
- House of Yahweh
- Los Angeles Food Bank
- Salvation Army in Harbor City, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica
Following their service, they return to Chadwick for a simple lunch before packaging 10,000 meals for international or domestic social service and emergency relief agencies. Meal packaging is coordinated by StopHungerNow or The Outreach Program.
Seeing the challenges students face in some of our largest school districts provides invaluable perspective. At the 93rd Street School in Los Angeles, our students volunteer right in the classrooms, connecting with other students and celebrating the power of literacy and poetry to enhance lives. The focus of the first fall visit is reader’s theatre, which uses the dramatization of literature to teach reading fluency and comprehension. During their second visit, they work with the poetry slam group “Get Lit!” to encourage an interest in writing and reciting poetry.
Day of Service
In the Upper School, service is an elective that enables students to volunteer at a site of their choice on the day of their choice (during lunch and 7th period) each week of the school year. In the spring, Middle School students get to experience the sites where our Upper School students volunteer weekly.
During this “Day of Service,” Middle School students travel to one of ten off-campus service sites — public schools, programs for the disabled, convalescent care centers, preschools — to learn about the agency’s work and to volunteer for the morning. In the afternoon, they learn about the on-campus service opportunities available the next year, including Ovations, EcoCommunity and the Community Service Advisory Board.
I’m stressed about my homework, but they’re stressed about what meal they’re going to have next. I know I’m going to have a meal tonight. They don’t.
Community Service Activities at a Glance
Upper School students engage in a range of weekly, monthly and annual outreach opportunities that help them realize and embrace their shared responsibility for bettering our world. They can be found tutoring elementary school students at schools in various locations including Wilmington and San Pedro, interacting with developmentally disabled students, assisting with projects at local convalescent and retirement homes in the South Bay, engaging in environmental restoration projects or visiting patients with cognitive or traumatic brain injuries.
View our full list of events and opportunities:
To view weekly and monthly service events and opportunities, visit the Community Service Student Advisory Board website or the 2018-19 Upper School Community Service Programs and Locations.
AYSO VIP Buddy
The AYSO VIP Buddy Program gives children with special needs the opportunity to practice and play recreational soccer. Reliable volunteers are what make the program a success and no soccer background is necessary.
Commodores Peer Tutoring Service
Upperclassmen volunteer social and academic mentoring to students in grades 7-9 every week. Over the course of the semester, tutors and students build personal relationships that facilitate academic, social and emotional growth.
Each spring, seniors get the opportunity to undertake a three-week community service program, contributing five days a week for seven hours a day as part of the project. It’s not only a chance to serve, but to reflect on their own lives and recognize the force for change they can be in the world around them.
Here are just some of the organizations we support:
- AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA)
- Bob Hope Hollywood USO
- Boys and Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor
- Braille Institute
- Habitat for Humanity
- Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
- Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy
- Park Western Elementary School
- Pediatric Therapy Network
The Salinas Project
Chadwick students spend a long weekend working with the Sherwood Elementary School community in Salinas,
California. We will travel to Salinas in school vehicles on Thursday and return to Palos Verdes on Sunday. While in
Salinas, we will work in the classroom all day on Friday and host a dinner and education night for families that
night. On Saturday we will offer educational workshops and/or field trips. We will stay at a migrant camp in the
evenings. This experience will give our students insight into the migrant farmworker community in California and
provide the opportunity to practice their Spanish skills.
24 Hours of Homelessness
Students encounter homelessness first-hand and learn about the challenges this social crisis has created for our cities.
Students spend the night at the Los Angeles Mission, prepare and serve meals to the clientele, participate in the
evening religious service and tour the Skid Row neighborhood in downtown LA.
Spring Break Community Service Trip to Vietnam
Viet Nam, with a rich cultural and political history, offers great opportunities for both community service and
language immersion. From its French Colonial past to its ties to United States history, Viet Nam is an incredible
setting for experiential learning. Students will have a six-day homestay and service experience with families in the north,
experiencing a lifestyle and culture different from their own. Following our homestays, we will spend some time
exploring Viet Nam itself, including HaLong Bay, Hanoi and, time permitting, a visit to Siem Reap in Cambodia.