Student Involvement in Community Service
Making a difference in the community by helping others is one of the most meaningful and enriching activities a student can undertake. At American Heritage School, we understand how important this is, so much that we have organically woven student volunteering into the overall education process.
While our students are required to complete a specified number of hours of volunteering each year, most of them are so dedicated that they exceed these obligations. Our average high school student completes 80-100 hours per year, well beyond the 30-hour requirement. For middle school students, the requirement is 20 hours, yet many students contribute over 100 hours of humanitarian work per year.
American Heritage students demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility in a wide range of ways. High school students can get involved with Education Rocks, a program that connects them with children in need in Bali. This fundraising initiative helps high school students develop life and business skills as they determine how to raise funds to provide a child with an education. They also correspond with their ‘adopted’ student on a regular basis, so good communication skills become essential.
Many students also provide assistance to local healthcare facilities, including the Caridad Center, the largest free healthcare clinic in Florida and one of the country’s largest, as well. At Caridad, underserved families and children have access to medical, vision, and dental care along with numerous other outreach programs. Working with Caridad helps to broaden our students’ perspectives and gives them experience serving their community in a profound way.
Another healthcare organization with which American Heritage students can get involved is the Salah Foundation Children's Hospital at Broward Health. Working with children who have been impacted by illness is a powerful influence on maturing minds.
Other student volunteer activities include our Dance Marathon to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, assisting in local nursing homes, and helping at the Wayne Barton Study Center. The Center offers an after-school program for children in need within the local community with academic, social, and recreational activities.
Our middle school students participate in a number of volunteer activities, as well. Lending a hand at beach clean ups, working at food banks and nursing homes, and reading to lower school students all help to build an understanding of the need to be of service to others. They also participate in our Dance Marathon along with the high school.
In our lower school, Student Government helps the Palm Beach County Food Bank by delivering Thanksgiving baskets from local grocery stores. They collect gifts for Home Safe, a local non-profit organization providing prevention and intervention services for children and families impacted by abuse and domestic violence. Our young students also team up with the high school for the Dance Marathon and help with our beach clean up at the end of the year.
American Heritage School’s National Elementary Honor Society students also help the Empty Bowls initiative, an international project to fight hunger. The children decorate and sell soup bowls, raising money to help provide for the homeless. They also join our high school pre-med students on visits to the pediatric cancer unit at Broward General.
Our students also organize events to support international humanitarian organizations. The relief efforts after Hurricane Dorian were, in part, coordinated by a team of our students. They organized supplies to be sent to the Bahamas and traveled there on two separate trips to spend time with the children who lost their parents to the hurricane and now live in orphanages.
In taking responsibility and helping others who are in need, American Heritage students learn life skills, build aptitude in business, and discover how much fulfillment comes from providing service. In making student involvement a fundamental element of education at American Heritage School, we help to build character for our students that will last a lifetime.