Please click here to download the Christian Service Hours Worksheet.
This year, we are changing our school policy on Christian Service Hours. In an attempt to allow for greater reflection and accountability, we have instituted the following changes. Please read carefully, as these changes will impact student grades:
- Annual Christian Service Hours requirement will be recorded and assessed in students’ Religious Studies classes. Previously, Christian Service Hours were a Graduation Requirement.
- Every student in every Religious Studies class in every grade will be required to complete 20 Hours of Christian Service by the March 14, allowing the teacher enough time to determine the students’ grade.
- The mandatory completion of these 20 hours will account for 10 points of each student’s 3rd Quarter grade in Religious Studies. If a student does not complete the total number of hours required, their 3rd Quarter grade will drop by 10 points. No partial credit will be given.
- Each Religious Studies teacher will determine an assignment for their class that requires the student to reflect on their completed hours. This reflection assignment will be graded according to teacher preference.
- Hours completed over this past summer may count towards students’ hours for this school year. Students who have already completed their hours are advised to write down what they did so they are prepared to reflect on this experience in the spring.
- If students have traditionally completed their Christian Service Hours during the 4th Quarter, students should seek permission from their Religious Studies teacher for the Service Hours to count towards their 4th Quarter grade instead. These grants will be made on an individual basis depending on the teacher and the nature of the service requested. If this is the case, students should seek permission early in the year, as an extension will only be granted far in advance.
- Christian Service forms can be found on the Prout School website under the “Spirituality” link. In addition, forms can be found in Campus Ministry and in Religious Studies classes. Teachers will have varying policies on how and when these forms are collected, but all students should use the school form. If a student has a letter of verification or other evidence of service, please staple it to a completed form.
In order to be considered Christian Service, the service must meet the following criteria:
- Your actions must be of service to another.
- You should not be paid for this service.
- Your service should challenge you and be outside of your typical routine.
- Your service should address some aspect of Catholic Social Teaching
- Your service should be verified via signature by some supervisor, preferably not a parent, if possible.
- If the act of service is questionable, its value will be decided by the individual teacher or discussed with the Religious Studies department and voted upon.
- Use reasonable judgment regarding whether your service should count as Christian Service.
- Your service should be something on which you would be able to reflect with your classmates and teacher in a class assignment. (See questions on the following page for help).
After completing an act of service, students should be able to answer most of these questions in a reflection assignment:
Who was served by my actions? What did I learn about myself through this service? What did I learn about others through this service? What did I learn about my society through this service? What did I learn about my faith through this service? What did I learn about God through this service?
We hope these changes will help students connect the material they are learning in their Religious Studies classes to the world around them. With this new policy, students will be held to a higher standard for completing and reflecting on their service. By reflecting on these hours and sharing their service with their classmates and teachers, students will be challenged to analyze their faith, relationships, and communities in new ways.
Our Christian Service Hours policy is based on Catholic Social Teaching. As a Catholic school, we strongly believe in our responsibility to serve others. We hope that through these hours, our students will learn to be men and women for others who live out the teachings of the Gospels in their daily actions, words, and deeds.
Service opportunities are announced on a weekly basis during school announcements. If students have difficulty with finding a service placement, they are encouraged to come to the Campus Ministry Center where we have a binder of opportunities for teen volunteers.
Ideas for Service
- Work with those who face poverty, population at a shelter, soup kitchen or food distribution center.
- Tutor kids
- Work with the elderly.
- Start a recycling program.
- Help an elderly neighbor with home maintenance.
- Coach or instruct a sport or art.
- The possibilities are endless!
- Rhode Island Volunteer Center