School Servathon ~ From Seniors to Citizens
Samantha Dawson
teaches Social Activism and Advisory Class at Boston Community Leadership Academy (BCLA).

Art Teacher Joan Syms & Samantha Dawson (right)

Students: Entire senior class with Grade 11 Social Activism & Advisory class
Collaboration with BCLA
Advisory Teacher, Andrea Haney &
Art Teacher, Joan Syms;
Beth Israel Hospital; Cadbury Commons; Casey Klofstad, Doctoral Candidate, Harvard University; International American Red Cross; MA Coalition for the Homeless; NE Shelter for Homeless Veterans; Lee Academy; Little Brothers for the Elderly; Pine Street Inn; Project Bread; Volunteers of America; Women’s Circle Griffin House

Classroom Activities
Research local non-profit organizations
Select individual social issues or topics of interest
Write papers on how non-profit organizations impact on social issues
Invite Guest Speaker to classroom
Reflect on how young people can get involved with community issues by staging a Servathon
Divide into groups
Select non-profit organizations to visit & arrange interviews (see Partners above)
Investigate impact of international non-profit organizations on global tragedies
Organize key chain sale in school & community
Community Activities
Hold round table discussion with Guest Speaker on political socialization of young adults
Visit selected non-profit organizations
Interview organizations’ representatives
Schedule time to serve at selected organizations during school’s two Servathon days
Sell BCLA Tsunami Relief key chains to family, friends & community members
Donate profits from sale to International Red Cross
Share information on non-profit organizations & Servathon reflections with school, families & partners
Teacher Reflections
I have never been so moved by the way our students grew as leaders while serving others. They were less involved with themselves and each other and more concerned about those they were helping. Their pride and obstinacy melted away as they cleaned bathrooms and folded used blankets. They became thoughtful, responsible citizens giving back to the community. These students are also more able to identify fixable problems, find ways to alleviate them, and actively participate in the solution. They are now not only more aware of how to link the issues they research with a way to help, but also more inclined to take action.
Student Reflections
I know that when we first talked about doing a Servathon, I didn’t like it. I thought that it didn’t have any relevance to graduation or life. But then it all changed. Going into the projects and helping the children at their school really enlightened me in a way I never thought community service could do. It changed my whole outlook on helping people. I didn’t know that contributing to the community would make me a better person, and that the hours I spent helping would change other lives and mine forever. I never thought that doing this would make a difference, but it did. Now, I know how to identify the problem and be a part of the solution.

TeachNet Service Learning is administered by Boston Public Schools Affiliate IMPACT II @ High School Renewal.
Supporting TeachNet are Special Assistant to the Superintendent for High School Renewal, Kathleen Mullin; IMPACT II Affiliate Director Barbara Locurto; WebMaster Andrew Binns; Web Advisor Linda Younis, High School Renewal; School to Career Program: Linda Younis; Project Assistant Jean Gibran. For more information, email

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