A core tenet of Shorecrest’s mission is “the development of a commitment to social responsibility.” One of the best examples of our mission in action is service learning, embodied by the Upper School Service Week, which concludes today. Service Week demonstrates our dedication to the core values of Responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Knowledge and Compassion. Throughout the year, there are other examples of service learning by students, all with the goal of learning empathy and the value of giving back to the community. And certainly, Shorecrest itself is the beneficiary of countless hours of volunteerism by our family members and friends, who give of themselves so generously on behalf of this school.
This year, Shorecrest embarked on its 11th annual Service Week. This week of service opens up opportunities for students to become better involved in doing something for the community, as well as helps students discover a passion for service, gain knowledge and compassion toward the world and the people in it. Students have the time this week to dive deep into helping our community in ways that otherwise would not be possible.
This year many of the Service Week opportunities were local. Environmental impact and sustainability were a strong component, as students and faculty members worked on beach clean-up projects and with organizations such as Tampa Bay Watch and the Seaside Bird Sanctuary. Other groups focused on food insecurity, spending time with The Kind Mouse, Benison Farm and Empty Bowls. Students also wrote letters to veterans and senior citizens, researched the history of St. Petersburg and Shorecrest in preparation for our upcoming centennial, and created artwork to beautify local landscapes.
Some students traveled for their Service Week experience. Over the past few years, faculty member Ron Heller has established a relationship with the Lakota Sioux tribe of South Dakota. This year, students were able to resume travel to the Pine Ridge reservation, which is one of the most impoverished areas of the country. Shorecrest students on this trip worked to assist the people of the Lakota Tribe in a variety of ways, while also learning about the Lakota culture and its rich history.
One of the reasons our students are committed to serving others is because they see service modeled by their families. So many people have contributed their efforts to our school through the Shorecrest Community Association (SCA). Friends and family members have worked in concessions, the library, Helping Hands, the box office, the Holiday Gift Drive, International Festival and the Big Event, in addition to many other volunteer activities. Others have served as Class Representative or Mystery Reader in the classroom. Shorecrest benefits enormously from the time that our volunteers devote to this school and their contributions are a model of commitment for our students.
So please save the date for a very special event, honoring the many members of the Shorecrest volunteer community. We will celebrate all who have given their time to support our Chargers this year and present the Janet Root Volunteer of the Year Award at a complimentary brunch on Saturday, April 30, at 10:30am on the Gaffney Green outside Charger Commons. I hope to see many of you there.
All the best,