Upper School

Service Learning, For Themselves and Others

While stressing a rigorous academic preparation, Gilman's philosophy and program acknowledges that the ultimate preparation of the student is for humanitarian service. The Upper School Community Service Program provides the students the opportunity to experience involvement with and service to others.

Every Gilman student must perform community service as a requirement for graduation.

Goals of the Community Service Program

  1. To help the student to become more aware of the larger community.
  2. To help the student become conscious of and sensitive to those in need.
  3. To provide opportunities for the student to share his gifts and talents with and for others.
  4. To help the student begin the process of evaluating his own values, perceptions, attitudes, and feelings towards those in need.
  5. To provide the student with an opportunity to grow in ways which are not provided by classroom or athletic endeavors.
  6. Every Gilman student must perform community service as a requirement for graduation.

Community Service Requirements

  1. Must be performed outside of Gilman School in one activity or organization for a non-paying position or with an approved service program on campus.
  2. Must be completed during a fourteen month period for a minimum of 50 hours.
  3. Must be performed after January of the freshman year and completed by August 1 of the senior year.
  4. Must be performed for a disadvantaged community whose culture/circumstances are different from the student's.
  5. Must be evaluated and approved by the Director of Community Service, parent(s) and the organization prior to involvement or selected from an approved listing of community service agencies as submitted by the Director of Community Service.
  6. Completion of the service will require the student's written reflection on and reactions to the service experience, as well as the agency's evaluation of the student and the student's evaluation of the agency.

Student Responsibilities

  1. Obtain necessary approval from parents, Director of Community Service and the agency's Volunteer Coordinator. (Juniors: Commitment form is due by May 31.)
  2. Submit Commitment Form to the Director of Community Service before commencing the service project.
  3. Submit evaluation forms to the Director of Community Service to complete the requirement for graduation.

Civic Engagement and Service Learning Program

The Gilman Civic Engagement and Service Learning Program (CESL), a grant program for Upper School students to promote community involvement and social action both globally and locally, provides two grants per year for boys in grades 9 through 11 to pursue community service projects over the summer.

"The program's goal is to teach civic literacy, promote civic engagement, and develop social entrepreneurs by stimulating student awareness of local and global issues and encouraging students to lead volunteer efforts that will affect positive, measurable, and lasting change," says Donell Thompson '91.

The CESL projects are generated by student interest and community need. Students research domestic or international community service opportunities or design their own projects; grants will be awarded through a competitive application process.

Selection is based upon students' commitment to the issue, ability to articulate the impact of the proposed project, potential for student growth, program budget, plan for sustained service to the target community, and plan for enriching the Gilman community through the service project.

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