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Grauer School Community Service Projects

The Grauer School’s mission is to provide a humanitarian education that helps develop compassionate citizens with the ethical and social leadership qualities necessary to make positive changes in our diverse local, national and global communities. 

Essential to our mission is providing students with the opportunities to use their talents and good will to help others in their community and around the world. Through Grauer School Community Service Projects, our students develop personal purposes while building leadership skills that will serve them and their fellow neighbors near and far, long after the final school day comes to a close.

Importance of Community Service for Students

“The Grauer School offers such unique opportunities for its students to experience new and amazing things world over. As parents, we are deeply grateful for these moments that will shape Kiana's thinking and heart.”
- Tami & Eric H., Grauer Parents

Grauer School community service projects stress the importance of community service for students. This approach cannot be underestimated for its effectiveness in helping develop compassionate, globally minded human beings. Community service allows our students to learn valuable life skills while providing assistance to people and ecosystems in the most need of help. The importance of community service for students at The Grauer School includes:

  • Creation of special, potentially life-altering bonds while increasing awareness of cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles/walks-of-life other than students’ own
  • Accumulation of psychosocial knowledge and new experiences that help students develop enhanced intra and interpersonal communication skills
  • Cultivation of personal satisfaction from helping others that helps ease feelings of isolation, stress and even conditions like depression 

Student Community Service Programs

There are many ways to get involved with student community service programs at The Grauer School. Students can participate in school-sponsored events, as well as activities organized by their teachers and on expeditions. Many students and their families already donate their time through organizations that matter to them, and our student community service programs can help accentuate this commitment to volunteerism. We have many students and alumni who create their own events to raise awareness for an important personal cause. Please take a look at some Grauer School community service project examples below:

Expedition Service Opportunities

Grauer students on a community service expedition

Service is an integral part of most expeditions. Activities have included: planting trees at the Wall of China; building stoves in the homes of Guatemalan families in the Altiplano; building houses in Mexico and Peru; serving meals to the homeless in San Francisco; teaching AIDS awareness/prevention in Africa; and helping with habitat restoration in our national parks.

In-Class Service Opportunities

Teachers often make service part of their curriculum. For example, music classes perform at Somerford Place, English classes interview elders at Seacrest Village, science classes restore the habitat at the lagoon, and Surf P.E. does a beach clean-up.

Schoolwide Service Opportunities

Grauer students wrapping gifts for underprivileged children

Throughout the year, there will be service opportunities available to all students on campus. For example, we host an annual Conner’s Cause gift drive at the holidays. We have also had drives in collaboration with the Community Resource Center, the San Diego Food Bank, the Prince and Princess Project, and with Veterans for Peace. Students can also volunteer as ambassadors for school events and open houses or they can work in the garden at events hosted by the Environmental Science class or the gardening club. Many clubs on campus also participate in or organize service events for which their members earn service hours.

Independently-Developed Service Projects

Students develop their own service project (for an on or off-campus event) and present a proposal to school administration. Once approved, the student is responsible for promoting the event, garnering support, managing logistics, recording attendance and reporting outcomes. This is a great leadership opportunity!

Outside Service Organization Involvement

Most of the hours students earn are through volunteering for outside organizations. Students can volunteer for any charity or non-profit organization of their choosing. Popular organizations with our students are: Helen Woodward Animal Center, Meals on Wheels, the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, Jewish Family Services, the YMCA, and the Sierra Club. If students and their families know of upcoming events, they can share them on the school’s community service lounge or send them to Jessi Brown to promote. Jessi regularly sends out emails to students announcing upcoming service opportunities and the Community Service Club announces them at assemblies. Service opportunities are also listed in the school’s weekly newsletter. The Community Service Club meets on Fridays at lunch.

Current Community Service Opportunities

Our commitment to serving our fellow human beings and ecosystems near and far alike begins with our neighbors in the San Diego area. The Grauer School is proud to plan and carry out community service opportunities in San Diego year-round. If you would like to learn more about current and upcoming community service opportunities in San Diego through The Grauer School, or just to be inspired, please view the slideshow below: