By Guest Blogger Chris Burcaw
In order to fulfill its mission and promise to help students develop integrity of character, St. John’s Lutheran School in Winston-Salem has a strong commitment to community service. As part of the school’s curriculum, students of every grade level are required to participate in various community service projects.
From learning about and practicing environmental stewardship to volunteering with a variety of neighborhood and community-based organizations, St. John’s students are provided with hands-on experiences that give them options to explore how service can impact the lives of others.
“It is our goal at St. John’s to go above and beyond academics,” says Tom Baldwin, St. John’s Director of Admissions and Community Relations. “We want our students to understand that a responsible commitment to the community is part of a well-rounded education, and it is something we hope they carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
Experiencing the value of generosity is just one of the many benefits that St. John’s community service projects instill. Students are also developing critical thinking skills through their service projects by discovering the life challenges for a particular group of people. They study how their projects can have an impact, and they determine paths to achieve particular outcomes, such as determining goals and planning out how to achieve them.
“We are at a threshold in many ways with students at our school, as is the case everywhere,” Baldwin says. “With the rise of technology and social media, it became apparent in a short amount of time that students were disengaging from experiences and becoming bystanders to what was going on around them. Our goal is to engage them with experience-rich opportunities that not only teach virtue, but the importance of purpose.”
While St. John’s is a PK-8 school, the importance of having a well-rounded education with a strong service element is something more and more colleges are looking at when reviewing applications for entry. Most service projects reinforce leadership skills with the students, which is another skillset that colleges are looking for in their applicants.
In a study by DoSomething.org (Community Service and College Admissions Study), 70% of admissions officers surveyed valued volunteering over a long period rather than short trips abroad, and commitment to a single cause is preferred over scattered involvement with a variety of causes.
Service is just one aspect of St John’s offering that so many students have enjoyed. The middle school has competitive sports teams and cheerleading, and students in all grades are exposed to and may participate in a variety of theater and visual arts projects.
St. John’s Lutheran School is a traditional Christian family school that, through Christ, delivers historically strong academics uniquely combined with loving, personalized attention in order to develop our children’s minds, bodies, and spirits, so they are best prepared to meet the demands of a competitive and ever changing world.
The school, which is located at 2415 Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem, prides itself on providing:
- Student-focused, small class size teaching
- A safe, Christian learning environment
- A longstanding reputation for strong academics
- A service-oriented approach to learning and critical thinking
- Approachable staff and educators
Enrollment for the 2015-16 school year is still open for all grades (PK – 8). For more information, go to StJohnsFalcons.org, or contact Tom Baldwin to schedule a tour by calling 336-725-1651.
*Sponsored by St. John’s Lutheran School