- Service Learning Statement
- Goals of the Westmark Service Learning Program
- Five Acres Toy Drive
- Service Learning Opportunities & Ideas
- Record your Community Service Hours
Service Learning Statement
A key emphasis of the Westmark education is on the development of responsible members of society who contribute their time, energies, and talents to improving the quality of life in our school, community, nation, and world.
A superb education is much more than knowledge gained within the walls of a classroom. Service to our community helps develop our students’ realization of their ability to act as contributing and positive members of their community, both within and outside of Westmark.
In addition, service learning provides opportunities to build leadership experiences, develop creative talents, and increase awareness of the world at large. Students may even explore career paths as a result of volunteer involvement and thoughtful reflection.
- To shape young adults who possess strong personal values and who understand the importance and benefit of helping others.
- To develop leadership and teamwork skills.
- To build relationships with non-profit organizations and the outside community.
- To fine tune unique talents and interests.
- To uphold the principles of community involvement and thoughtful action.
- To learn how to effectively engage with the complex global society.
Westmark integrates service learning in each grade level’s curriculum.
Service opportunities will be age appropriate in breadth and depth. During school hours, each grade level will have a chance to prepare for and learn about their service learning project, perform their service, and debrief and discuss their experiences. We want to ensure that 100% of our staff and students are involved in service to our Los Angeles community and beyond.
Specific service learning projects will be highlighted at the beginning of the year, however we also want to be ready to extend our services should any pressing need present itself during the year. We also strongly encourage students and families to inquire within their own community, church, synagogue, scout groups, YMCA, local hospitals, food collection agencies, etc…to see what opportunities are available. Some of the richest experiences are those that a family does together.
Five Acres Toy DriveDuring the first half of December, the Middle School hosted a holiday gift drive for the Five Acres Children's Home, an orphanage on Los Angeles that takes in children who do not have any parents. The toy drive is the brainchild of Middle School student, Julia Arem, who wanted to give back to other kids who do not have their families around them during the holidays, as she does.
She researched organizations who could help fulfill her mission and discovered that Five Acres was a perfect match. She presented her idea to fellow classmates during assembly, and her classmates responded with huge support!
Regarding Julia's commitment to others, her mother Valerie Arem shared, "She [Julia] is clearly very passionate and devoted to the work they [Five Acres] do. I am so proud of her personal contributions to them. When she was 8 or 9, she asked Santa to bring no presents for her, but only for her to take to the kids at the Five Acres home. It truly touched me! We took 3 large boxes of gifts over to them on Christmas morning and she was so happy." Because of Julia's efforts, and the kindness of Westmark students, parents, and teachers, the bin used to collect unwrapped toys for this month's toy drive poured over. Ultimately five large bags of unwrapped toys and gifts were collected and delivered to the Five Acres Home just in time for the holidays.
Quick Community Service Ideas
- Donate old clothes or household goods that are still in good condition and donate them to your local Goodwill or Woman's shelter.
- Donate children’s books, novels, and other reading materials to shelters, libraries, and schools.
- Write a letter to your Congressman about an issue that you care about.
- Collect unused makeup and perfume to any women’s shelter or center for abused women.
- The next time you go grocery shopping, pick up some non-perishables to donate to your local food bank.
Skill-based Volunteer Ideas
- Become a volunteer tutor. If you excel in a particular subject, share that knowledge with other teens that are struggling. Volunteer your services online non-profit or let your teachers know that you’re available to other students.
- Got a big vocabulary and a little time to kill? Test your skill on freerice.com. They’ll donate 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme for every answer you get right.
- Volunteer to give music lessons to people in your community
One day Volunteer Events
- Participate in a clean up of a beach, riverbed or local park.
- Organize a car wash and donate the profits to any charity of your choice.
- Students Run LA
Offer your help taking registrations, handing out water bottles, cleaning up after, or other administrative tasks for a run. It might not feel as glamorous, but this volunteer work is actually really helpful! To sign up contact Paul at (818)654-3360 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think you’re too old to collect candy, but still want to dress up? Collect money for a charitable organization like UNICEF, and no one will judge you. http://support.unicef.org/ers
Weekly Volunteer Opportunities
- Volunteer at your local library
- Help an adult learn how to read
- Tutor a neighbor or classmate
- Tree People
A great opportunity for team building, while doing something beneficial for the environment. Contact Mollie Stephans at (818) 623-4879 or email@example.com. 12601 Mulholand Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210 https://www.treepeople.org/volunteer/group
- Friends & Helpers Foundation
This is a great way to put a smile on the faces of families in need during the Holiday Season. For more info call (818) 757-1905 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 15260 Ventura Blvd. Suite 2100 Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 http://www.friendsandhelpers.org
- One Voice
Help sort and package food baskets for families in need this holiday Season. For more info. Call (310) 458-9961. They are located at 1228 15th Street Suite C Santa Monica, CA 90404 http://onevoice-la.org/volunteer/
- Offer to Nanny or Babysit for free to a family in need.
- Become a mentor for a younger child.
- Bring new or lightly used toys to a children’s hospital. (Children’s Hospital LA, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital)
- Coach a sport you love, to a youth team.
- Give free music lessons to children in Schools
- Babysit children during a WPA meeting.
- Organize a reading hour for children at a local school or library.
- Milk and Bookies
Spread the love of reading to those who can’t afford books of their own. For more info call (323) 863-5742 or email email@example.com 144815th St. Suite #202 Santa Monica, CA 90404. http://www.milkandbookies.org/
- My Stuff Bags Foundation
Help fill duffels, make blankets, re-package special large donations or make toiletry bags for children who have been pulled out of their homes. Contact Emily Appleby at (818) 865-3860 5347 Sterling Center Drive, Westlake Village, CA 91361 or visit http://www.mystuffbags.org/how-to-help/donate-time/ for more info.
- Arts For Kids
Offering kids after school arts programs. Contact Amy Knutson at (310) 586-1017. 1728 Abbot Kinney Blvd., #101, Venice CA 9029
- Offer to rake leaves, shovel the walk, or do housework for an elderly neighbor.
- Visit a retirement home and spend time doing fun activities with the elderly who lack immediate family.
- Make Birthday cards for the Elderly.
- Ask residents at a Retirement home to tell you about their lives.
- Jewish Home of the Aging
Sing or play music to the elderly (Jewish Home of the Aging contact Stacy Orbach at (818) 757-4442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.) http://www.jha.org/volunteer/
Share your talents and skills with the elderly. Call (818) 708-6668 or email email@example.com for more information. http://www.onegeneration.org/volunteer/
- Volunteer with animals. Check out your local rescue league, ASPCA chapter, or animal shelter to learn how. (Check age requirement).
- Offer to Dog-sit/Walk someone’s dog for free.
- Clean up a local dog park.
- Build and set up a birdhouse.
- Train your pet to be a therapy animal and bring it to hospitals or nursing homes
- Ace of Hearts
Volunteers engage their passion for animals into much assistance. Call (310) 358-3344 or email Dogsfromheaven@aol.com to volunteer.
Homeless & Poverty
- Volunteer on Thanksgiving Day with your whole family. Serve a meal, in your home or in a local shelter, to someone who needs it.
- Donate blankets to a Homeless Shelter
- Prepare a home-cooked meal for the residents of a nearby homeless shelter
- Make first aid kits for homeless shelters
- Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
- Bake a batch of cookies or loaf of bread and deliver it to a soup kitchen.
- Project Chicken Soup
For more info call (310) 836-5402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org P.O. Box 480241 Los Angeles, CA 90048