Holton has a long tradition of service within the School and the community at large. Giving back to the community is a concept and a responsibility girls learn at all stages of their time at Holton.
Community engagement is a very important component of the Lower School experience. No matter what the age of the students we feel it's important for them to know that they have gifts and talents that can be shared with those less fortunate.
Projects in the Lower School include: visiting a nursing home where the grade 6 chorus performs songs from their spring concert repertoire, and the girls visit with the residents; bake sales and a talent show to raise money for local causes; a walk for the homeless; Jump Rope for Heart to raise money for the American Heart Association; delivering handmade sandwiches, soups, scarves and hats to local shelter; and adopting families during the holidays.
The Middle School community program affords students an opportunity to become connected to the world around them, to recognize that they have a responsibility to contribute to a cause greater than their own. In addition to in-school service duties (hall clean-up, lost & found, etc.) that all students fulfill, the program extends beyond the Holton campus in the following ways:
- All students and faculty participate in two service days each year. In small groups, students visit one of over a dozen local sites (e.g., food banks, senior centers, hospitals, parks, pre-schools), where they engage in hands-on, meaningful work.
- The Middle School collaborates with Landon on various service projects. The Student Councils from each school meet at the start of the year to determine meaningful causes and appropriate activities.
The school year is filled with projects embedded within the school day and also organized at various locations in the Metropolitan DC area on weekends. Holton has a long tradition of service emphasized by its community engagement graduation requirement.
The goals of the requirement are to increase each student’s awareness of community needs and to provide her with an opportunity for service that carries with it the possibility of enhancing her sensitivity to others and her own sense of effectiveness.
Community Engagement Graduation Requirement
Starting with the Class of 2025, students will now be required to complete 60 hours of community engagement prior to the start of senior year. All hours will be direct engagement addressing a community need(s). Students must complete a minimum of 20 hours per year (grades 9, 10, & 11). In grade 9, ten of those 20 hours will be Holton-sponsored events.
Grade 9, 20 hours: summer after eighth through the summer after ninth grade.
The School provides 10 hours of engagement during the school day for students in grade 9. These are opportunities built into the school day. Students will be required to complete an additional 10 hours on their own, outside of the school day. These hours can be completed between the summer after grade 8 through the summer prior to starting grade 10.
Grade 10, 20 hours: summer after ninth grade through the summer after tenth grade.
Grade 11, 20 hours: summer after tenth grade through the summer after eleventh grade.
Grades 10 & 11, students begin work on their 40 hour project which consists of 40 hours all addressing one need, split up between two years. This will allow the students to spread out their hours and make a meaningful connection with one organization over a few years.
All community engagement hours must be direct engagement. Direct engagement is defined as students' interaction with the recipients of the project or the physical environment they have targeted for improvement. This differs from indirect engagement, channeling resources to a need. For example, serving the homeless at a soup kitchen (direct) versus holding a canned food drive for a local food pantry (indirect). Therefore, drives, fundraisers, 5k’s, etc. will not count towards the graduation requirement.
Please reach out to Emily Wilde if you have any questions.
How to check hours logged [LINK]
Updated April 2, 2021