Essential Question: Independent schools claim that we all care deeply about our students’ character and the choices they make long after they have left our hallways and our classrooms, but what are we doing to turn that care into action?
In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., writes: “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” In independent schools, we ought to be reading King’s challenge as one focused on what it means to be a leader at the dawn of the 21st Century. Our students especially need to weave themselves more actively into King’s “garment of destiny” by means of initiatives that expose them to and educate them about a new direction for tomorrow’s leaders that can only be described as “leadership through service.”
Independent schools like Presbyterian School ought to believe that the school experience is not just about what happens through the end of students’ time with us—it’s about what happens to them for a lifetime. The training and lessons our students receive—or do not receive—during their years with us will have an impact not only on their character but on the choices they make in high school, in college, and (dare we say it?) beyond.
By means of creative programs in local and regional communities, we will take up the task of training the next generation of leaders to understand that some of the greatest achievements of our time have been borne out of courageous service and that some of our most successful leaders subscribe to the adage that true leadership is about action and not position.
2017-18 service opportunities...
Our goal at PS is to have Lower and Middle School students each have a designated Service Project! We believe that service provides needed perspective by reminding us all to be grateful and highlights the importance of giving back.
Kindergarten will write seasonal notes to the Lunchroom staff and Cleaning staff at school. We want those that serve the school to know that we appreciate what they do for us. They will also help First Grade with the School book drive for Books Between Kids.
First Grade will be in charge of the School Book Drive for Books Between Kids. They will make fliers, count, sort, and prepare the books for delivery. Books Between Kids is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 to serve Houston’s at-risk children by providing them with books to build their own home libraries.
Second Grade will be working with the Preschool at the Nehemiah Center. They will be reading, playing, and building relationships with the pre-k students every other week. The Nehemiah Center is a Christian-based organization that offers academic, emotional, cultural, social and spiritual enrichment for at-risk children and their families in Houston's Third Ward and beyond. Their mission is neighbors helping neighbors creating a safe haven in which children are motivated, inspired and equipped to realize their God-given potential.
Third Grade will be corresponding with members of FPC, Senior Adults at First Presbyterian Church and Board Members of the School in a Pen Pal program. The relationships formed are tender and dear to everyone involved.
Fourth Grade will serve twice a month at First Presbyterian Church Adult Plus. The students love setting the tables and being waiters to the Senior Adults that attend. Fourth Grade students will also help to sort the lost and found twice a month and return items to their owners.
Fifth Grade will be running and organizing our Service Club. They will help PS and FPC. The students will promote fellowship among our student body and will help with needed community service. The fifth grade's Service Club will help with our Veterans Day celebration and Chapel.
Sixth Grade will be serving the Emergency Aid Coalition by organizing and running a shoe drive for the clothes closet. They will help sort the clothes collected by FPC and deliver them monthly to the EAC. The Emergency Aid Coalition (EAC) is an interfaith organization that collaborates to provide temporary assistance in the form of food, clothing and other basic needs, with an emphasis on serving the working poor.
Seventh Grade will be partnering with Avondale House; a non profit agency that provides children and young adults with autism the education and training to develop them to their full potential. Our students will be helping Avondale students participate in a Special Olympics Field Day hosted by Presbyterian School at the OEC.
Eighth Grade will lead the Middle School Chapels. They will lead all Middle School students and faculty in prayer, with Scripture, and the teachings of God. Each student will have the opportunity to create a Chapel service that encourages all middle school students to speak God's love in their classrooms, their city and the world.
PS Families will have the opportunity to serve together as a family during the Nehemiah Center's Thanksgiving dinner. Our families serve dinner to the families of the students at the Nehemiah Center the week before Thanksgiving. The Nehemiah Center's mission is to provide assistance to low income families who are invested in seeking a better future for their children through education, emotional wellness and spiritual enrichment. Their motto is "Neighbors helping neighbors create a safe haven in which children are motivated, inspired, and equipped to realize their God-given potential."
PS will have three all school drives: a surplus candy drive in November, a shoe drive in the winter, and a book drive in the spring. May you be encouraged by all the giving that is being done at PS!
Please email service opportunities to School Chaplain, Jo Leever.