|The students at Harbor Day School participate in many community service projects throughout the year. From kindergarten to the eighth grade, students have opportunities to experience the spirit of volunteerism through involvement in worthy projects. Traditionally the whole school has participated in providing donations to needy groups at holidays. Each October the students "Trick-or-Treat" for Unicef and have earned the honor of Ambassador status for the past five years. At Thanksgiving the students in grades kindergarten through third grade provide food, money, and supplies for the Orange County Interfaith Shelter. |
In December, each homeroom in the school (18 in all) "adopts" a family through Share Our Selves (SOS) to provide Christmas gifts for the family members and food for the holidays. Students in art classes have created cards and drawings for senior citizens and veterans.
Throughout the year, individual classes and groups complete or sponsor service projects. Each year the third grade spends a day “gleaning,” as the students study about the lives of California migrant workers, and donate the gleaned vegetables to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Also, the third grade uses class party time to organize items for distribution to families of ill children at CHOC hospital. The fourth grade celebrates Easter by filling Easter baskets for SOS families, while the fifth graders spend their Valentine's Day “stuffing socks” with needed toiletries for families at SOS. The eighth grade Handbell Choir performs throughout the community during the month of December.
The Student Council sponsors a number of volunteer opportunities for students. Last year students could wear “free dress” if they brought in a dollar to support cancer research or a can of soup for donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank during the week of the Super Bowl. Students were asked to donate to the March of Dimes during “March Madness.” Our entire student population responds when a community, national, or international need is clear. Used sporting equipment was provided for children in Santa Ana, money was collected to support families in New York City after 9/11, and used books were sent to the children of Afghanistan.
The library distributes books leftover from donations or “The Brown Bag Book Exchange” to groups such as The Painted Turtle, a camp for seriously ill children, and three elementary school libraries in Santa Ana. This year the library will sponsor a program through Scholastic Books so that students can “earn” books to donate to needy children. Used uniforms and clothing are donated to Goodwill Industries or to needy children in Mexico. This year left-over food from our hot lunch program is being donated to Victory Out Reach, a halfway house.
At Harbor Day School, we have determined that it is essential to “teach philanthropy” at an early age. Our goal is to have each student contribute to society throughout their lives.