Community Service at Woodlands Academy is defined and shaped by the commitment in Sacred Heart Goal III and its Criteria “to educate to a social awareness which impels to action.” Our Service Program is designed to raise students’ consciousness about the poor, the marginalized and the disadvantaged, and to encourage students to promote social justice and social responsibility.
All students are expected to complete a community service requirement each year. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors must complete 20 hours of annual service; ten hours required for freshmen. In addition, all grade levels must attend reflection groups each semester and prepare a year-end reflection paper summarizing their service experiences. Seniors are required to complete a comprehensive service project.
A Service Committee comprised of eight adults from the faculty and staff oversees Woodland’s service program and coordinates all-school service events such as the Second Family Food Drive at Thanksgiving and the all-school annual Service Day, when the entire school community participates in service projects throughout the Chicago area.
The student Service Club consists of an elected representative from each advisory group and is led by a faculty or staff member and three students selected by the Service Committee based on their applications. Service Club meets twice each month to plan and direct service drives for the entire school at Thanksgiving, Advent, Lent and other occasions during the year.
Service experiences may arise out of participation in school clubs such as H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Protect Esteem), or in Social Justice, Sociology, or Environmental Science classes. Woodlands students are active and assume leadership roles in many local community-service organizations and nonprofit agencies, such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Catholic Charities, Relay for Life, Casa Esperanza, Miseracordia, Port Ministries, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Every summer the Sacred Heart Network offers students the opportunity to participate in summer service projects at host schools across the country. Students learn about a broad range of social justice issues through Network projects, such as working with developmentally-disabled adults; the juvenile justice system; immigrant families, Habitat for Humanity; and the elderly, poor and marginalized in U.S. cities.