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 2017, 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 Dismas House Family Farm, where students helped garden and farm, and learned about rehabilitative and vocational reintegration of former prisoners to the community. The students also had the opportunity to work with Park Spirit, where they learned about the importance of clean parks and their benefit to the greater Worcester community. The third site the students visited was the Worcester Regional Environmental Council. The Nativity Men cleaned the grounds with Youth Grow and learned about environmental health and food justice.
For the ninth 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: YOU INC Latency Program, NEADS, Ascentria Care Alliance Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program, and Community Harvest Project.
Over the course of the Summer of Service 2017, the Nativity Worcester community completed over 1,700 hours of service in the greater Worcester community.