Sophomores embrace community service as part of health class

In Santa Catalina School’s sophomore health class, Concepts of Well-being, students build awareness of personal health while strengthening their sense of community and purpose. It was toward this goal that students participated in community service as part of the class.

The students devoted 10 hours of their time in the fall semester to projects of their choosing. In reflections at the end of the class, students reported feeling fulfilled, appreciative of what they have, and grateful to be helping others.

Santa Catalina’s Health and Wellness Program is structured around our Wheel of Well-being, which recognizes personal development and relationships as core components of one’s health. By doing service in their health class, students were able to see the connection between doing good for others and doing good for themselves.

The projects covered a wide range of causes. Some students volunteered online, like the student who spoke with English learners to help them practice the language. Others helped out local organizations, such as animal shelters and food banks. Many students recognized the impact of even small gestures, such as baking birthday cakes for underserved children or writing letters to military personnel. Students put together hygiene packages for a women’s rehabilitation center and helped parent-less girls with day-to-day tasks. They also took advantage of service opportunities offered by the school, such as knitting baby hats, participating in beach cleanups, or tutoring peers in math.

In their reflections, students shared that the experience made them more compassionate and empathetic, more aware of injustices, and more in tune with themselves. Nearly all students said they would continue to make service a regular part of their lives. Wrote one: “This has been one of the best experiences of my year.”

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