Christian Service Program Commonly Asked Questions

1. What is the Christian Service Program?

The Christian Service Program at Salesianum School is designed to challenge our students to serve the broader community as Salesian gentlemen through service which is given freely with nothing asked in return for the work done. The service is done solely to help those in need and to meet the requirements of a not-for-profit agency which serves people who are somehow disadvantaged (people experiencing poverty, discrimination, poor health, old age, and/or physical/mental limitations.)

 

2. Where can I do my service?

Service can be done at an established, nonprofit, nonpolitical community, school, or church agency which provides service to the disadvantaged as described above.

 

3. Why are there a minimum number of service hours, documentation and other requirements for this program?

One of the results of our most recent school accreditation studies was the need for increased accountability and frequency of service to the community on behalf of all Salesianum students. This was an area of concern in our accreditation report, and consequently, the new program requirements address these concerns directly.

 

4. Why doesn’t all the service that I do for National Honor Society, Spanish Club, or any other school related clubs count for my Christian Service Hours?

In order for these program to maintain integrity and increase student accountability and responsibility, it is necessary for participating members to serve a minimum number of hours in these programs with the aid of Salesianum faculty and/or staff. As stated previously for the Christian Service Program, our goal is to challenge all Salesianum students to go beyond what is convenient, and follow the commands of Christ to serve one another, especially those in our community who are most in need.

 

5. May I count hours that I volunteered over the summer?

Yes, as long as those hours meet all of the criteria of our service program and you complete and turn in all the necessary service documentation (which includes receiving the necessary approval if necessary,  and completing all forms as found in this booklet).

 

6. Does free baby sitting or taking care of grandma’s lawn constitute a service?

Babysitting younger siblings, cousins, friends of the family or taking care of the needs of an elderly relative is a family obligation. You do these things because you are a good family member. This is not a service to the community. There are many unique circumstances when serving as a mentor for a neighbor’s child, or buying groceries/taking care of a lawn for a neighbor who is physically unable to do so and cannot afford the help may indeed be counted as service. If you are unsure of which category your service falls under, see Mrs. Ballintyn immediately, before you begin your service.

 

7. What about clean-up, maintenance, or other volunteer work where I am not directly working with people?

The general rule of thumb on this type of service is, “does this service have a reflective element?” To put it another way, will you be able to write a two page minimum reflection paper about how you picked up trash for twenty hours? For example, if you were picking up trash in a poor neighborhood and people kept asking why you were doing this and how much your service meant to them, then perhaps your service would meet the “reflective element” requirement. You may very well be able to reflect on bettering the environment, both immediately and globally for others. If it does not, then you ought to supplement your “labor” with service that is directly “person to person” type of service. In other words, do I have a sense of the impact of my service? See Mrs. Ballintyn if you have any doubts about the reflective element of your service project idea.

 

8. May I volunteer for more than one service project or volunteer for more than one service agency?

Yes, but you must complete service forms for each and every service project and/or service agency.

9. How do I begin? Where do I get information for the various types of volunteer opportunities out in the community?

Your Director of Christian Service is Mrs. Ballintyn and she is located in Room A066. She can provide all information, guidance and instruction on the program and its parameters. The Christian Service link which can be found on the Current Students Link of the main school website under Departments contains all the forms necessary for the student to complete the requirements for this program. To begin your service, follow the procedure as listed below.

  • READ OVER REQUIREMENTS Read this booklet completely and sign the Student Handbook page. Then decide where you will do your service and contact the agency. Do not wait as agencies cannot meet last minute requests.

  • FIND A SERVICE SITE Remember, pre-approval of a service agency is only necessary if the agency is not listed on the approved list found on the Christian Service Program website and at the end of this Pamphlet. All the agencies meet the criteria for a service site and also list the contact information for you to contact the agency directly. Mrs. Ballintyn does not make these arrangements. This is your responsibility. Do not wait to start your service. Many agencies will be unable to assist you if you choose to wait until the week before the service is due. Start today!

  • COMPLETE LOG AND EVALUATIONS Complete all forms as found in this booklet. Do not forget the log and supervisor’s evaluation forms. These forms must be completed in order to fulfill the criteria for this program. If you lose this booklet, please download a new booklet from the website as indicated above.

  • GRADING The student will receive a pass/fail grade for this program in the fourth quarter. If the student does not complete/submit all material as indicated they will receive a failure for the program. They may not be allowed to move onto their next academic year without successful completion of this program.

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