The Episcopal Academy Volunteer Service Cooperative: Serving to Learn; Learning to ServeThe Volunteer Service and Learning Cooperative encourages the spirit of hospitality as a way to serve the needs of others; to foster a sense of cooperation among the various constituents of our community to embrace the needs of others as if their needs were our needs; to cultivate a fundamental ethic and spirit in how to serve and establish partnerships with other communities that provide for the needs of the underserved.
Community service begins in PreK and continues through graduation. Through a wide variety of projects and hands-on service opportunities, we challenge our students to think about how they can, and should, make a difference through commitment and action. We strive to instill in our students the desire to be compassionate citizens, using their education and talents for the good of humanity.
The Student Service Board is composed of student-elected representatives from each class. They bring with them a passion for service and wide range of interests. The Student Service Board meets weekly for discussion on ways to engage the EA community, and to plan service activities.
Faculty Advisors are Community Outreach Coordinator Rebecca Brinks and Spanish Teacher Andrew Shimrock.
Our Community Partners
The Episcopal Academy works with partners in our local community and beyond:
- St. James School in Philadelphia
- St. Marc’s School in Cerca, Haiti
- Broad Street Ministries
- Melmark School
- St. Mary’s Church in Chester
- ACLAMO (Latino community center in Norristown)
- Safe Harbor
- Ronald McDonald House
- Cradles to Crayons
We are currently working to establish partnerships with Navajoland in New Mexico, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Chester, and Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia.
In 2012, The Episcopal Academy developed a partnership with St. Marc’s School in Cerca, Haiti. Our primary goal is to help students realize that we find our own humanity in making the stranger our neighbor.
This partnership allows our students to see a world that is completely different than their own world – a world without plumbing, electricity, roads, modern conveniences, or clean water. This partnership allows our students to learn that embracing the needs of others as their own will lead them to a purposeful life. In addition, our students in return learn that happiness is not brought about by material wealth but through community. Our mission is to foster a mutually respectful relationship between our schools.
To date, we have built a new school, brought solar power to Cerca, and built a water purification system. Our next step focuses on developing a farm to help the people in Cerca battle malnutrition. Each April, a group of EA students, parents, and teachers set up a two-day medical clinic offering dental work, eye exams and glasses, and a general health check. We have established medical records and are able to examine the data to see what are the most important medical needs of the students and families associated with St. Marc’s School in Cerca, Haiti.
If you are interested in becoming involved in The EA / St. Marc’s Partnership, please contact Fr. Tim Gavin at email@example.com.
About Horizons at EA
Horizons is an award-winning national network of community-centered education programs offering economically disadvantaged children an exciting learning environment on private school and university campuses.
In 2013, Horizons at EA held its first six-week summer program on campus with 30 kindergarten and first grade students from Frederick Douglass Mastery Elementary School in North Philadelphia. In 2016, Ardmore Avenue Elementary in Lansdowne was added as a second partner school. With a new kindergarten class each summer, the program is expected to reach full capacity in 2020, providing summer learning opportunities for 135 students who return each summer through 8th grade.
Our summer program provides meaningful volunteer opportunities for Episcopal Upper School students and the Horizons school year program has volunteer options for Episcopal Middle School students. During 2016, more than 100 EA students volunteered.
If you are interested in becoming involved in with Horizons at EA, visit the website or contact Executive Director Kathy Jacoby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a service requirement?
We hope that Episcopal Academy students will choose to engage in service, taking advantage of the many volunteer opportunities that are available. While there is not a minimum hours requirement as such, students are required to participate in one form based Day of Service each year where students and faculty serve together with our community partners. We feel that as a faith based community, this simple commitment is as important as any other school requirement and offers the potential to raise the consciousness of our students and inspire them to greater service.
I'm interested in holding a fundraiser. How can I do this?
In order to further students’ understanding of philanthropy, any fundraising activities for organizations outside of the Academy must include service to that organization. All fundraising done at the Academy is to support either the Academy or its community partners. The Community Service office must first approve any fundraising done outside of the school’s Advancement Office.