Community service has been an essential component of the High School experience since its inception. We devote six half-days per year to sending students out to various non-profit sites (most of them in or near our downtown Louisville neighborhood) to perform service.
Service sites run the gamut of missions, falling into the categories of environmental stewardship, human services, and civic literacy.
We organize partnerships yearly with 15-20 sites. All groups strive to include an educational component that will accent their students’ service work. The service sites at which St. Francis students are volunteering in 2019-20 include Louisville Nature Center, Louisville Free Public Library, Gilda’s Club, Project Warm, Chestnut Street YMCA, Kentucky Science Center, Center for Women and Families, Dare to Care, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Olmsted Parks Conservancy, YouthBuild, Heuser Hearing Institute, Louisville Grows, Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, New Directions Housing, We Act, and our Goshen Campus.
Lower and Middle School
Lower and Middle Schoolers participate in Service Learning. Service Learning delineates the difference between a day of service and a service-learning project: the former accomplishes a set task, while the latter engages students in choosing an organization to help, based on their interests. We host a Philanthropy Fair each fall, at which organizations come and share information with students. Teachers then guide students through a weeks- or months-long process, during which students learn about their chosen organization, do research on why and who they helped, and craft a plan to aid their particular group.
We Act Club
Both Middle and High Schoolers take part in an additional service group which falls under the auspices of the We Act program. The We Act Club develops its own projects that focus on at least one global and one local initiative each year. In fall 2016 they completed three years of work toward a $10,000 goal to build a school in Haiti. They are currently developing a partnership with the Offin Children’s Center in Ghana and hope to both support the Center financially and get more personally involved with some of its residents.
Since its inception, the Preschool has collected and distributed essential items for area families. Our focus is on fulfilling the needs of families with small children in the community. St. Francis Preschool families donate items to match the wish lists provided by area social-service agencies. Once these are gathered together, parent volunteers transport the contributions to the agencies. Our annual contributions to the community include the coat drive for Wayside Christian Mission, the Holiday Helping Hands program, and providing filled plastic eggs for spring hunts to the California Area Child Development Center. As animals are a common interest of our Preschoolers, we also collect food and supplies for area animal rescues.