Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science (HAAS) Community Service: Giving Back

How It All Began:

Community Service projects have been a part of HAAS since the school started in XXXX. Originally the program was a weeklong event that occurred twice a year. During that week consecutive full days were devoted to various community projects. This bi-yearly event was a positive experience for students, however the program was changed in 2014 to a more frequent schedule - every other Friday for a 4 hour period. This has helped HAAS develop a consistent positive presence in the community and has enabled students and teachers to foster long-term relationships with organizations or causes that are relevant to their lives and the lives of their families. Community service has evolved from an event that took place twice a year to a regular part of HAAS school life.

Outcomes:

Community Service embraces a whole-child approach to learning and instills social responsibility and stewardship.

The benefits to the students/school include:

Builds a strong sense of community inside and outside the school setting.

Provides opportunities for self reflection and growth in areas outside the more traditional curricular areas.

Offers real-life experiences that enhance empathy, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Students take pride themselves in their contribution and develop a sense of responsibility that translates to improved in-class learning and engagement.

Post-graduation options are enhanced through resumes, college applications and scholarship letters that provide an opportunity for students to highlight the number of community service hours completed (240 hours by graduation, which equals 2.0 elective credits for graduation requirements)

Greater visibility of HAAS in the community

Stronger community/school relations

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