Community Service Specific Guidelines

Service for Academic Credit

Community service for which students receive academic credit is NOT applied toward the 40-hour requirement. This includes activities performed through independent studies.

Service Through the Judicial System

Community service which is court-assigned is NOT applied toward the 40-hour requirement.

Organization-based Service

In general, service performed for profit-making organizations is NOT applicable, with the exception of hospitals, nursing homes, and newspapers. Unpaid work done at for-profit businesses such as most landscaping companies, dance, gymnastics, and martial arts schools, and daycares is not applicable. Service performed for individuals should be performed under the umbrella of an organization (e.g., tutoring a student through a school, helping the elderly through the Council on Aging). Activities such as babysitting, tutoring, or yard and housework to help a friend or neighbor typically do NOT count toward the requirement.

Service Through Religious Organizations

In order to be applicable, an activity may not be associated with the rituals, services, or ceremonies of any specific religion, proselytizing, or fundraising to support a specific religion or religious institution.

Thus, participation in religious services (e.g., choir membership, altar service, reading from the Torah), while a worthy endeavor, is NOT counted. However, educational activities and non-religious activities which benefit the religious community (in non-financial ways) or the community at large ARE applicable.

Examples of applicable religious-sponsored service activities include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • Teaching Sunday school or CCD
  • Babysitting during religious services
  • Painting church or synagogue buildings and classrooms
  • Clothing drives
  • Work in shelters
  • Participation in Belmont Religious Council or church mission trips to Habitat for Humanity or Community Volunteers

Selling Christmas trees/wreaths or helping with church or synagogue rummage sales is applicable only if the proceeds are used for charitable purposes and are not for the benefit of the sponsoring religious institution.

Participation (as members or officers) in religious youth groups is NOT generally applicable unless the groups are organizing and/or performing specific community service activities.

Traditional School-Sponsored Activities

Activities performed which are traditional after-school activities are NOT applicable. Thus, participation (as officers or as members) in student government, marching band, National Honor Society, and clubs and teams are NOT applicable unless the groups are organizing and/or performing specific community service activities. Fundraising for your own sport or team is NOT applicable.

Examples of applicable traditional school-sponsored activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Belmontian Community Service Club activities
  • PALS
  • UNICEF Club
  • Other clubs which include service

Summer Camps

If other community service guidelines are met (related to compensation, type of organization, religious practices) CIT hours spent in the actual organization and performance of specific community service activities ARE applicable. NOTE: Traditional counselor-in-training positions in for-profit camps are NOT applicable.

Activities Not Eligible for Service Credit (Recap)

  • Service for which academic credit is earned
  • Court-ordered service
  • Service for individuals (e.g. friends, neighbors) without an umbrella organization  (This includes, for example, tutoring, yard work, babysitting, etc)
  • Service at for-profit businesses (e.g., law firms, landscape companies, dance & gymnastics, martial arts schools, day cares, even if you are not paid)
  • Participation in religious rites, services or ceremonies (e.g. , altar service, choir, Torah reading)
  • Proselytizing
  • Fundraising to support religious institutions (e.g., most rummage sales and carnivals)
  • Traditional after-school activities, unless service activities are performed
  • Fundraising for your athletic team or sport or to fund your group’s participation on a service trip
  • CIT positions at for-profit camps

Charity Walks

Each charity walk is assigned a specific number of service hours for completing the walk, provided the student solicits pledges. Walking in solidarity without raising money for the cause will not earn hours. In addition, extra hours may be earned by fund-raising; for every 10 pledges or $100 (whichever works more to the student’s benefit) raised, a student earns an extra half-hour of service. Copies of the pledge sheets or pictures of your web page will serve as verification, and the regular forms must be completed.


Documenting your Hours

In order to receive community service credit, Verification Forms (with a reflective journal) MUST be turned in to the Community Service Coordinator, preferably within 2 months of completion of the service. (This applies to EVERY service activity, even if organized by the Coordinator!) SIMPLY PERFORMING SERVICE DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY PROVIDE CREDIT!!

Exceptions to Guidelines

Any exceptions to the definitions and guidelines can only be made with the knowledge and approval of the Community Service Coordinator.

President’s Volunteer Service Awards

Any student may earn this national award by completing at least 100 hours a year of verified community service according to the following schedule:       

Freshmen & New Students: Service must be performed between June 19, 2020 and April 30, 2021. 

Upperclassmen: Service must be performed between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021, unless you asked to add hours done between May 1 and July 31, 2020 to the 2019-2021 award. In that case, you would likely have from August 1, 2020 - May 1, 2021 to perform your service for the 2020-2021 Award.


  • Bronze 100-174 hours
  • Silver 175-249 hours
  • Gold 250+ hours

Verification forms must be turned in for EVERY activity counted toward this award, even those performed after the required 40 hours.
Deadline for receipt of forms for the presidential awards is Wednesday, May 5, 2021.

  • NOTE: This past year Covid-19 closed down not only schools and businesses, but many non-profits stopped having volunteers last spring. With that, we extended the end dates for the awards and for the students doing regular service. Again, we will let you know if we need to extend this year.


Any questions should be directed to Ms. Alice Melnikoff, Community Service Coordinator, by email ( If you are not sure whether something you might like to do will count, please email Ms. Melnikoff. It is always better to find out before you commit to your activity!