The Belmont Public Schools have a rich tradition of community service. Individual elementary schools provide numerous opportunities for children to participate in service projects. Activities range from a yearlong fourth grade Intergenerational Project to food drives, clothing collections, and fundraising for relief work.
Middle school students are involved in a wide variety of community service activities coordinated by teachers, parents, and volunteers. Grade six students participate in several schoolsponsored events after school as well as independent events outside of school such as volunteering at Habitat, at the elementary schools’ afterschool programs, and at the Belmont Food Pantry. Many students in grades seven and eight join an after school Community Service Club, led by a school advisor who coordinates student participation in one event per month. All middle school students who participate are expected to reflect on and write papers about their experiences.
At Belmont High School, which has a community service requirement for graduation, the Community Service Program offers many service opportunities in Belmont and beyond. Each fall, freshmen and their upper class “Connectors” participate in an afternoon of local service. This “Connecting with Belmont” program involves teens providing service at several worksites in the Belmont community. An active Belmontian Community Service Club implements projects monthly, and a senior elective course in community service provides opportunities for sustained placements throughout the year. We are proud of the large number of students who perform service regularly, including those who have earned a Presidential Student Service Challenge Award for performing over 100 hours in a twelve-month period.
In the 2009-2010 school year, about 1200 Belmont High School students collectively performed 39,000 hours of Community Service. There were 143 students who earned the President's Volunteer Service Award for at least 100 hours of service. And 49 Chenery Middle School students earned the President's Volunteer Service Award for at least 50 hours of service.