At Westminster, we desire for “our students to engage in real world problems by serving and influencing the community around them… to be risk takers and pursue justice in Augusta, the CSRA and the world; to step into leadership in this area.”
One way that we pursue fulfilling our mission and values at our school is to make sure that, regardless of a student’s age, they are involved in making a difference through service. These service projects happen on our campus, but also out in the local community.
Each January, our Upper School participates in Winterim. We are intentional in providing our students with hands-on opportunities to serve others. Our Winterim program provides two full days of service for our students to invest selflessly in the community. Students are split into teams and paired with a local non-profit or charity in order to serve them. Students have the opportunity to work with the homeless directly, provide food and shelter for those in need and be the visible provision and love of God in the CSRA. It is a great time of immersion into the world of service; these practical experiences give every student opportunity to provide for “the least of these,” as instructed in Matthew 25.
This past January (2015), our students and faculty partnered with the following organizations: Family Promise, Augusta Canal, Hope House, Goodwill, Fireside Ministries, Ronald McDonald House, Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home, Child Enrichment Center, Hope for Augusta, New Hope/Bridge Ministry, Crisis Care Pregnancy Center, Washington Commons, Elmcroft and Hahn Village.
Lower School’s Service Commitment
Service at the school is an opportunity for our students to serve the school and each other. Each class has chosen or has been assigned an area of service. Some projects may overlap with the service learning that is going on at their grade level.
Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities.
Throughout the year, each Lower School class will write letters of thanks to the members of the Westminster community who serve our students.
- Pre-K & TK: The Pre-K and TK classes served in a number of ways this past year. They watered plants around the school, supported the CSRA Humane Society by providing items from their Wish List, and supported Gospel for Asia by raising money to buy farm animals for needy families.
- Kindergarten: The Kindergarten class made and delivered Build-a-Bears to patients at MCG Health Children’s Medical Center.
- First Grade: Our first-grade students participated in service to the school by keeping the lost and found in order during the school year. They also created a power point of the lost and found items and sent it to the classrooms and home to the parents to view. The first grade service learning project was “Hugs for Heroes”. Students sent cards and Hershey Hugs candy to military members serving in Afganistan and Iraq. In addition, the class visited Kentwood Assisted Living Facility to perform their Thanksgiving Program for the residents.
- Second Grade: The second grader serve a local nursing home by filling bags with Christmas goodies. They decorate the bags and fill them with items we purchased from Dollar Tree, delivering them to the patients in the nursing home. While they are there, they also walk around and sing Christmas carols.
- Third Grade: The third grade began their service learning project for spring 2011 in April, during their study of ecosystems and the environment in science. Building on the recycling efforts already begun by our Parents’ Club, the children created posters to advertise recycling old cell phones and used ink cartridges and explored ways to better include recycling in the lunchroom.
- Fourth Grade: In 2012-2013, fourth grade students had the unique opportunity to tour the Golden Harvest Food Bank. They also helped serve lunch at the soup kitchen. Students served, cleaned, and interacted with people who came to have lunch that day. In the spring, we took our service learning one step further as we toured Fireside Ministries, Inc. This downtown ministry is owned and operated by Phin Hitchcock, a grandparent at our school. Students toured the greenhouses and even helped plant tomatoes. It was very special to visit both these downtown ministries and see how to better serve our community.
- Fifth Grade: The Lower School food drive for Golden Harvest Food Bank was lead by the fifth-grade class. This helped encourage them to put out the barrels, hang up flyers, count the items in the barrels and help load the donations onto the truck. In addition, the fifth graders serve the lower school by overseeing morning announcements, helping with chapels, and serving in the afternoon car line.
- Lower School students collected over 2428 pounds of food for Golden Harvest Food Bank.
- Lower School students also supported the American Heart Association. For a full week, students learn the importance of good eating habits, health and fitness by jumping rope. In addition, the students raise money to support the association in fighting heart disease and strokes. This past year Jump Rope for Heart raised over $10,000 for the American Heart Association.
- The third grade began their service learning project for spring 2011 in April, during their study of ecosystems and the environment in science. Building on the recycling efforts already begun by our Parents’ Club, the children created posters to advertise recycling old cell phones and used ink cartridges and explored ways to better include recycling in the lunchroom.
- In 2010-11, fourth-grade students sent letters and cards to their congressmen for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. A lot of excitement was experienced each time they received a response. This project was in preparation for their spring field trip to the State Capitol, where the children actually got to talk to the governor and one of their local representatives.
- For 2011, the fourth grade again went to two different nursing homes to show the residents God’s love for Valentine’s Day. This is a popular and touching trip that these students make each year.
- 2009-2010 fourth-grade students presented a Valentine’s Day program to area nursing home residents. They also supported Commander Peterson of the USS Eisenhower (parent of 2009-10 fourth-grader Kat Peterson) with six boxes of letters and goodies to boost morale while he was deployed at sea.
- Fifth-grade students supplied and packed 1,030 art pens to be taken on a missions trip to Nepal to assist in Gospel presentations.
- The fall 2010 Lower School food drive for Golden Harvest Food Bank was lead by the fifth-grade class. Students were inspired by visiting speaker from the Golden Harvest Food Bank, Director Mike Firmin. This helped encourage them to put out the barrels, hang up flyers, count the items in the barrels and help load the donations onto the truck.
- Lower School students collected over 3,100 canned good items for Golden Harvest Food Bank.
- Jump Rope for Heart raised $9,455.25 for the American Heart Association in 2011.
- Lower School students collected 1,003 pairs of socks that were delivered to a Chinese orphanage by the Drake family when they went to adopt their daughter.
2011-12 Service Highlights
- Prior to leaving for Outdoor Classroom in September, the sixth-graders spent a day serving in our local community. Girls worked at Golden Harvest Food Bank, while the boys spent the day on campus. They helped with tasks such as cleaning up the cross-country trail, Rachel’s Garden and the Lower School basement.
2009-2011 Service Highlights
- The sixth-grade class raised $500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through the Pennies for Patients Program.
- Twelve students participated in Light the Night Walk for Leukemia.
- Fifteen students participated in the Heart Walk for the American Heart Association.
- The Middle School collected 1,017 pounds of food for Golden Harvest Food Bank.
- Student Council Minty Messages raised $200 for toys for the Salvation Army.
In the Upper School, it is our desire for service to be embedded in the culture of who we are. While we organize a number of opportunities for our students to serve, there are always opportunities for students to independently engage in service. In addition, we have two student leaders who primary responsibility is to lead service efforts in the upper school.
This past year (2013), our students led and were involved in a supply drive for a school in Africa, a blood drive in honor of Michael Cave (a former student who passed away in 2010) a supply drive for Family Promise of Augusta and the 40 days of service event in the spring. In addition, every Upper School students served during our two-day Winterim, where we partnered with 12 local non-profit organizations.
For the upcoming school year, our students will be encouraged to engage in one area of social injustice and determine our place as a school to lead in that arena. We will partner with a local non-profit and focus our efforts and time responding to Christ’s calling to “…do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Our students will take leadership in this venture with the support of the Student Life Department.
2012-2013 Service Highlights Video
2009-2013 Service Highlights
- Students annually hold the Michael Cave Memorial Blood Drive in memory of a former WSA student who died in 2010.
- Upper school students collected school supplies and goods for a school in Africa. The school was hit by a flood that put it out of commission for a couple of months.
- Upper schools students participated in 40 days of service in the spring. For each day, there was an act of kindness or service that was outlined for WSA students to do.
- Students served during Winterim at the following non-profit organizations: Goodwill, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Fireside Ministries, Family Promise of Augusta, American Cancer Society, Action Ministries, CSRA Humane Society, Georgia War Veterans, Friendship Community Center, BonAir Apartments and Senior Citizens Counsel.
- The boys soccer team worked with Fireside ministries in the Harrisburg area on house demolition and recovery.
- The Class of 2011, led by Sadie Rhodes, reached out to our neighborhood children. They were invited to attend a double-header soccer game and were treated to dinner and inflatable games on campus.
Westminster’s service organizations include both the Senior Beta Club and the National Honor Society (NHS). Students must meet specific academic criteria and make contributions to recognized community service organizations. This individual commitment by each student goes beyond the school-sponsored community events at Westminster.
The Senior Beta Club is open to grades 10 through 12 and the National Honor Society is open to grades 11 and 12. Currently, 68 Senior Beta Club members and 27 National Honor Society members contributed over 15 additional hours of community service per student, while maintaining high academic standards.