At Sacred Heart, Service Learning is an integral part of social-emotional and character development.
Both in the classroom and outside of it, students gain perspective on social ills and an understanding that it is everyone’s responsibility to care for one another and for the natural world on a local, national and global scale. Community service and engagement flow from the Schools’ commitment to Goal III of the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Education:
Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to a social awareness which impels to action.
- The school educates to a critical consciousness that leads its total community to analyze and reflect on the values of society and to act for justice.
- The school offers all its members opportunities for direct service and advocacy and instills a life-long commitment to service.
- The school is linked in a reciprocal manner with ministries among people who are poor, marginalized and suffering from injustice.
- In our multicultural world, the school prepares and inspires students to be active, informed, and responsible citizens locally, nationally, and globally.
- The school teaches respect for creation and prepares students to be stewards of the earth's resources.
In short, social awareness and community service are firmly established in the school’s identity and in its daily life. Students engage in age-appropriate activities, which include direct volunteer service as well as efforts to raise funds and collect goods for donation.
Students at all grade levels
- Take part in Free Dress Days, Spirit Week Penny Wars and monthly bagel sales to raise money for the school’s select group of service partners.
- Participate in Howard Area Community Center holiday gift basket program, in which students are encouraged to work with their parents to raise or earn the money needed to buy the gifts and necessities requested by hundreds of client families.
Primary School (Pre-K–Grade 2)
- Understand the importance of sharing and helping whenever they can.
- Bring in food for area pantries.
- Make posters promoting Earth Day and put them up around the school.
- Make decorations for International Night to help celebrate our school’s diversity.
Lower School (grades 3-5)
- Make sack lunches for Inspiration Corporation to feed people who are homeless.
- Promote shoe, coat and toiletry drives throughout the school; collect and sort donations.
- Learn about children facing serious illnesses; participate in Math-a-Thon to raise money for St. Jude Children's Hospital and Read-a-Thon for Make-a-Wish Illinois.
- Clean up in parks and beaches near school.
Middle School (Grades 6-8)
- Opportunity to participate in SOAP (Service, Outreach, Advocacy and Philanthropy), a student group that provides leadership on charitable and conservation efforts.
- All 7th and 8th grade students go off-campus once per month to perform ongoing direct service at one of our service partner sites.
- Clean up campus of Misericordia (home for people with developmental disabilities) after the organization’s annual Family Fest.
- Parents join faculty and staff in organizing and supporting students’ efforts and modeling a personal commitment to social awareness and community service. Active parental involvement is especially important to food/clothing/toiletry drives and off-campus middle school projects.