Community service

Norfolk Collegiate believes that service to others is an integral component of character development and encourages students to find service projects that they find challenging and rewarding. Service clubs, senior projects, days of service and the National Honor Societies are all conduits for organized student service to the community.

Many of our students also become involved in self-directed volunteer projects with organizations they feel a strong desire to serve on a long-term basis. Community service is not a graduation requirement, but is recognized at Norfolk Collegiate through several annual awards that acknowledge those students with superior service records.

 

Guiding Tenets    

Community Service at Norfolk Collegiate School is characterized by the following guiding tenets:

  • Is non-paying purposeful service rendered to a non-profit organization, or to a recognizably disadvantaged individual or community
  • Improves the well-being of an individual or group in need, or serves to better the community as a wholeInforms students about the needs of others in their communities, their nation, and the world
  • Allows students to explore how they may use their own gifts and talents to contribute to the common good
  • Develops in students a personal sense of connectedness to the challenges faced by others and to local and global issues of concernFosters in students a deep sense of civic responsibility and a lifelong desire to participate in service activities 

For more information about community service, please contact Rebecca Zborowski.

For Middle School National Junior Honor Society community service hours, please contact Middle School Faculty Advisor Jill Archer.                  

 

Definition    

Norfolk Collegiate School defines community service as non-paying, non-credit purposeful service rendered to a non-profit organization or to a recognizably disadvantaged individual or community. Purposeful service is not spontaneous or informal, but is arranged in advance and fills a need outside a student’s personal community. Through acts of improving, caring, and helping, community service engenders in students a deep sense of civic responsibility and fosters an understanding of the challenges facing others on local, national, and global levels. To this end, a distinction exists between service activities and those activities considered to be school and community involvement. The following guidelines outline the wide variety of activities that qualify as community service for the purpose of fulfilling requirements for both the school’s community service recognition awards and the National Honor Societies.


By definition, community service goes beyond basic membership in any group, religious organization, team, activity, or club. Participation in group sponsored service activities that have direct benefit to others, however, may be considered community service. Students are encouraged to consult the Community Service Adviser prior to beginning a service project if there is any question as to the activity’s qualification as community service. 

 

Guidelines

Any student who wishes to receive community service credit for activities that are not clearly defined in this document should complete a waiver form to be considered by the community service advisor and review panel. The goals of community service should always be to better our communities and the lives of those who live in them. It is in this spirit that any student’s participation in service activities will be evaluated. 

SERVICE ACTIVITIES

(Activities which meet the definition of community service)

Humanitarian and Social Service Agencies
Community service may be performed for a non-profit organization that provides direct assistance to a group that is disadvantaged or otherwise in need. The service provided may be direct service to the constituents served by the group, or it may be in the form of behind-the-scenes work benefiting the organization as a whole. In the latter case, service performed should be in the form of active feet-on-the-ground participation such as office work, cleaning, building, etc. Traveling to and from distant locations or other time spent not engaged in active service at a location will not count. The following list provides examples of the types of organizations that fit into the humanitarian and social service category:

  • Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia
  • ForKids
  • Hope House
  • Salvation Army
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Operation Smile 
  • N.E.S.T. program
  • American Red Cross
  • Norfolk Animal Care Center
  • SPCA
  • The Dwelling Place
  • Horizons program 
  • Hospitality for the Homeless
  • Soup kitchens
  • Area hospitals
  • Nursing homes

 

Other Activities 

Working to make the community a better place for everyone is also a goal of the community service program at Norfolk Collegiate School. Students may receive community service credit for activities that improve the school or community through service as a mentor, role model, leader, or participant in a project or program that serves the common good. The following activities fit into the category of service benefiting the school community or the community at large:

  • NCS Extended Care Program assistance
  • Serving at the Blue Note Café and Treble Clef Café
  • Peer tutoring
  • Environmental clean-up or other projects for parks, cities, neighborhoods, and non-profits
  • Coaching community youth teams
  • Public library volunteering
  • Religious activities such as teaching, serving as a summer camp leader, etc.
  • Civic league service

Senior Project Hours

Senior projects that are service-based often require students to devote an extraordinary amount of time and talent to their completion. As senior projects are a graduation requirement, the service performed for a senior project is considered credit-earning. In order not to penalize students who must also perform 25 hours of service for the National Honor Society, up to 25 hours of qualifying community service performed for a senior project may also count towards the NHS service requirement.

INVOLVEMENT

(Activities that are beneficial to students’ growth as individuals, but do NOT meet the definition of community service)

The commitment to involvement requires being a faithful participant in a club, team, group, or other organization. As members of such groups, students have basic responsibilities that deepen their connections to the organizations and aid in developing their own talents and interests. Being involved with these organizations benefits students as individuals. In keeping with the goals of the community service program at Norfolk Collegiate School, students will not receive community service credit for activities that fall into the category of involvement.

School Involvement

In order to encourage students to see themselves as important participants in their communities beyond the boundaries of general school involvement, certain school sponsored activities do not meet the criteria for community service. Activities which are requirements for club membership, fundraisers with proceeds that only benefit group members, and school events in which the general expectation is that students will participate, or those which are held during school attendance hours, are all examples of school involvement. Some specific examples of school involvement include:

  • Fall Fair (except those activities for which 100% of profits go to charity)
  • Art in the Yard
  • Activities to raise money for the Jr. Class
  • SGA Freshman Retreat 
  • Managing a sport 
  • Playing a sport
  • MS and US Day of Service
  • Lower School Field Day

 

Community Involvement

Students may be involved in activities in their communities that are admirable and encourage individual growth, but do not meet the criteria for community service. Some examples of community involvement include:

  • Political campaign volunteering 
  • Serving as an acolyte at church 
  • Singing in a choir; performing with a theater group
  • Attending rallies