*For a copy of the Transfer Student Form or Service Hours Report Form, please select Forms from the menu on the right.
Why We Serve:
Social Justice is an integral part of a student’s high school experience. As such, the Christian Service Hour Program aims to form conscience, build community, and develop our students as leaders in the light and truth of the Gospel of Jesus. This is accomplished through a structured format that encourages students to serve in different areas of need. The Christian Service Program allows students to experience Christianity in a dynamic way by actively participating in a wide variety of service opportunities.
Christian Service Program Requirements:
Students are required to complete a total of 100 hours (25 per year that they attend Aquinas) in order to be eligible for graduation. 75 of those hours must be direct service and 25 may be indirect service. Further clarification regarding direct and indirect hours is included below. Direct service hours are preferred; therefore, students may choose to perform direct service for all 100 hours. Transfer students should meet with the Director of Campus Ministry and complete the Transfer Student Form (available on the Aquinas website, department websites, or in room F26). At that time, acceptance of qualifying service hours from another school and/or an equitable adjustment of the required number of hours for graduation commensurate with the amount of time actually spent as an AHS student can be made.
Direct Service Hours:
Definition – service hours that take place directly working with individuals through a non-profit agency or organization that cares for the poor, hungry or disadvantaged; children, a church (in some instances), coaching, or tutoring; and/or, the elderly, sick, disabled, or individuals with special needs. If the agency or organization you would like to work with is not a non-profit group, it must be preapproved by the Director of Campus Ministry.
*Examples: visiting senior centers, feeding the homeless, working with the disabled, assisting at a daycare facility, being a youth leader for youth ministry, Vacation Bible Study camps, teaching religious education and assisting during the liturgy as an alter server, lector, music minister, or usher.
Indirect Service Hours:
Definition – service hours that do not involve direct interaction with individuals through a non-profit agency or organization that serves the groups listed under direct service. These service hours are more along the lines of community service, when there is not a close, one on one interaction with the groups listed above.
*Examples: Aquinas events, working snack bars, assisting with tournaments, custodial/clerical work, fundraisers, marathons, walkathons, school/parish/festivals or meals (unless it is specifically serving the homeless or less fortunate), blood donations, beach cleanup, bake sales, etc. Again, all of these hours need to be completed through a non-profit organization or agency.
Service that is not valid or accepted in either category:
Neighborliness and family related help are not normally considered valid hours for the Christian Service Program – the rationale being that both are considered givens, and an outreach to one’s wider community is not made. Valid service must be performed through an organization or agency and have contact information. It cannot be done through a personal contact, such as babysitting for a neighbor, helping grandparents move, or helping a relative/friend coach a team. This is great service, but is not accepted as valid service for our purposes.
*Examples: babysitting, anything not done through an organization or agency, personal service for friends, family or neighbors; any service where you have received some kind of compensation (money, medal, award, etc.); volunteering at a for-profit business, etc.
Christian Service hours will be recorded in Ren Web by the Director of Campus Ministry. Students must turn in hours within 3 months of completing the service in order to be accepted. Hours must be turned in using the Service Hours Report form which can be found on the Aquinas website, department websites, Ethics class Dropbox folders, and in room F26. Students will turn in their forms in room F26. Announcements regarding deadlines for submitting hours will be announced in Ethics classes, during morning announcements, and in the parent bulletin. Please note that forms must be filled out completely and signed by the adult supervising the completion of the hours in order for hours to be recorded. Hours may not be signed off by parents/relatives without prior approval from the Director of Campus Ministry.
All students will be required to complete a project for their Ethics class during the 2nd and 4th quarters which will comprise 20% of their quarter grade. Projects should be based on their completed hours for the year (12-13 hours per semester, for a total of 25 per year to be on track for graduation). Students may not use the same service opportunity for more than one quarter project. If a student does not have a new service opportunity to use for a project, they should use the option B project. All new service opportunities will be completed using the option A project. Project directions can be found on the Aquinas website, department websites, and in Ethics class Dropbox folders. Hard copies are also available in room F26.