Nativity School of Worcester supplements a school year’s worth of education with a required summer session. During July, Nativity Worcester faculty, staff and students return for three weeks of classes, field trips, and a comprehensive service-learning program. During service-learning, students reach out to the city through an integrated academic and community-service-oriented program.
During the Summer of Service 2015, fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders performed community service at three different sites in mixed-grade group; each site focused on a specific service area. These sites included Canines for Disabled Kids, where students visited the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and learned how people benefit from animals, but also how animals benefit people. The students also had the opportunity to visit the South Worcester Neighborhood Improvement Center, where they learned about all of the services the neighborhood center provides throughout the year, specifically the food pantry and summer program for kids. The third site the students visited was the Worcester Regional Environmental Council. The Nativity Men cleaned the grounds in and around the area for summer Farmers’ Markets and learned about environmental health and food justice.
For the seventh consecutive year, the eighth- grade students had the opportunity to work on the Highland Street Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Initiative. Students working on this project learned about philanthropy and nonprofit organizations in their service learning classes. They reflected on their own personal values to determine what community services they deemed most important for the people within Worcester. The students then chose how to disburse the $5,000 of grant funds to these four organizations. This year, the eighth graders worked specifically with: Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, Guild of Saint Agnes, The Hector Reyes House, and the Seven Hills Foundation.
Over the course of the Summer of Service 2015, the Nativity Worcester community completed over 1,700 hours of service in the greater Worcester community.