Middle School Day of Service
Updated: Feb 10
by Toni Setteducato, Dean of Students
Through understanding, compassion, and empathy, we want to encourage our AVS students to explore how they can contribute to the larger community's needs and to make the connection that being in community comes with responsibility. This fall each advisory was tasked with exploring the community issues that they are concerned and passionate about and/or already engaged in. Over the course of several weeks, each advisory went through a series of intentional steps to further identify what students have the ability to contribute to their community, to assess how they could make the most impact, and to begin dialogues with community agencies and organizations that might serve as partners.
The first of two official Middle School Days of Service took place in December before the holiday recess. In the morning, advisory groups set off to pursue their self-directed service projects. In the afternoon, we returned to the community to watch a few documentaries that focused on the larger global community and tackled such issues as nutrition, education, homelessness, and basic human kindness.
Though asking middle school students to take ownership over this project seemed daunting, what evolved was truly inspiring. Advisory 7A was motivated to work with the elderly population and developed a relationship with the 30th Street Senior Center. 6th and 7th graders in several advisories chose to focus their efforts on local environmental causes and dedicated their service time to cleaning up trash in the Mission. Advisory 8C initiated a connection with the Dolores Street Community Services organization, which assists local families with a whole spectrum of supports. The 8C students created holiday gift bags for the adults and children with whom the Dolores Street Community Services work with and intend to reconnect in the spring to meet with families and continue the relationship. The 7B advisory developed a connection with the Most Holy Redeemer Church in the Castro and spent time with Father Matt learning more about their programs for the elderly and homeless populations.
Advisories have established the groundwork for what hopes to be on-going and sustainable partnerships within the larger community of San Francisco. Some groups have already begun thinking about next steps and looking ahead to our next Day of Service in April. At the core of this experience, students and teachers are working together to establish the framework for our commitment to service, which is truly emblematic of the AVS way!