Summer of Service

Stephanie Herrmann July 28, 2017

Summer of Service: You Changing the World 

One day, one week, one summer at time! 

We interpreted the theme of "Build a Better World" from a philanthropic point of view.  Our teens each week met a leader/volunteer from a local service organization, learned about the organization, then got their hands-dirty doing a service project for the organization.   This learn & serve project was a benefit to the student and the organization! 

Each week we had a "show" and a "go" segment that combined learning about serving followed by doing the service!   The students learned from volunteers not only about the organization, but also the personal stories of struggle, heartache, and passion that led them to become volunteers.  The "why" was the most important lesson of all!

Type: Active
Age: High school
Optimal size: 20+
Estimated cost: $100+
Planning time: <1 hour
Frequency: Weekly

Learning outcomes

Teaching teens how to serve and make a difference where they live as well as why service is important and necessary for healthy communities was a win-win for everyone involved. 

Plant a Seed of Kindness Show:  The Grit of a Gardener  Go: Make plants for area nursing homes.

Creating Art with Heart:  Show:  The love of a Mom   Go:  Create artwork (book bags) for patients at St. Jude's and other childrens hospitals.

Fifty Shades of Green:  Show:  The Respect of Recycling  Go:  Pick up trash to sort and recycle for Keep America Beautiful!

Mission Mexico:  Leer un Libro   Show:  The Culture of the Hispanic Community  Go:  Make book bags with Spanish childrens books for local churches

Operation Pet Rescue:   Show:  Dedication to Abandoned Cats and Dogs! Go: Students will bathe, walk, and assist in giving shots to stray animals about to be adopted through the Humane Society.

Homefront Heroes:  Show:  The Help of our Heroes, Meet local soldiers.  Go:  Create book gift boxes and send to Operation Shoebox.

A Hot Date with DART:  Show:  A Passion for Protection.  Learn from local domestic violence shelter.   Go:  Hold a car wash to benefit D.A.R.T (Domestic Awareness Resistance Team)

Doodlestone Academy:  Show:  Positive Attitudes with Doodlestones  Go:  Create positive messages on stones to place for others to find.

Lemons N-2 Lemonade:  Show:  Caring for Special Needs Children  Go:  Host a Watermelon Lemonade Stand to benefit Mini-Miracles Organization.


Students were given incentives, prizes, and free books each week--however the real prize was learning how why service can really make a difference.  We specifically selected each organization so that students could see a variety of organizations and needs such as older adults, sick children, environmental concerns, hispanic outreach, neglected animals, military service, abused families,  positive role models, and disabled children.   When we think outside of our own needs and see the needs of the world---we see we can make a difference and the world can be a better place.   Building a Better World starts one service at a time. 


Each student received a letter from the organization including the service hours obtained so that they could use the letter for validation of service for scholarship applications as well as credit for on campus service organizations such as BETA club. 

Other resources

By creating partnerships with other organizations, the library teen program interacted with 9 different organizations, demonstrated the adult-role as volunteers in the community, and most of all how everyone can and should give time to organizations within our rural parish.

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