When Jesus ascended to heaven, his main message to those he left behind on Earth was simple: Take care of each other! In so many ways, our students are being taught to live that in their daily lives. In addition to the expectation of excellence in all the core subjects and arts, BJAMS teaches respect, compassion, social awareness, generosity, and so many other life skills to prepare them for a good life. Truly a unique institution!
In 2011, the Board of Trustees added community service to all grades within the school. We believe that students who are aware of and learn to serve in local, Vermont wide, and global communities become better people for the experience. Before you run for the hills, keep on reading. The Board of Trustees recognizes that you are very busy and that “Now I have to find some cause, some event to volunteer so that my child meets this requirement” sounds like a scary proposition.
Why community service?
Service to others is an important component of a Catholic education, and instilling the virtues of compassion, gratitude, and service in our children creates a life-long focus on helping others. Our Community Service Program helps students develop a social conscience. It is intended to bring the values that are taught in class to life in a hands-on experience of learning about and responding to the needs of others.
Annually, the Head of School, in consultation with the Board of Trustees and the faculty of Bishop Marshall School, will select one of the following options for each grade:
- Option 1: Each child will be required to donate/serve a stated number of hours each quarter. The child will conduct the service outside of school and submit proof of doing so to his/her teacher.
- Option 2: Each class will perform service for a particular local, national, or global charity.
- Option 3: The school will adopt a local, national, or global charity for the year. Each class individually will choose or be assigned a manner in which to support the charity.
BJAMS’ goals, with these community service requirements, are for the student and the classes to:
- become aware of others less fortunate or in need, and get actively involved in helping them;
- bring age-appropriate values and ideals to life through various experiences;
- instill a respect for the dignity of others, regardless of their situation;
- provide an authentic means to teach collaboration, research, public speaking/presentation, and report writing skills.