Community

Service Learning

K-12 Philosophy

Viewpoint School believes it is as important to create good citizenship and ethical leaders in our students, as it is to challenge them intellectually and academically. Volunteering on-and-off campus helps students by awakening concern for those coping with hardship and encouraging a sense of responsibility for our environment. Through their philanthropic pursuits, students will develop their talents and skills, as well as learn from others with experiences different from their own.

primary & lower school

For our youngest children in Primary and Lower Schools, we seek to instill a spirit of community service through age-appropriate activities on campus. Students sponsor and participate in activities that support such organizations as the West Valley Food Pantry, UNICEF, Book Ends, and School on Wheels, as well as natural disaster relief. The discussions and lessons that correspond with these activities enable our youngest students to understand the needs of others while learning to contribute to their community.

Primary School
The Pennies for a Purpose program encourages our community to collect pennies for the purpose of helping children in need. Our annual donations demonstrate that even the smallest denomination in our currency, much like the smallest students, can make a significant difference in our community as well as the world. Additionally, Primary School students actively participate and contribute to service activities that are sponsored in the other three divisions in our School.

Lower School
In Lower School, the Student Action Committee provides students with the opportunity to practice leadership skills while performing service activities on Viewpoint’s campus. Students in Third and Fourth Grades serve as Lower School Representatives. Some of their responsibilities include: participating in projects that help beautify the Primary and Lower School grounds, raising funds for charities, collecting food and toys for the West Valley Food Pantry, and collecting gently used books for Book Ends.

Fifth Graders complete a mathematics unit where they create their own businesses, conduct a campus sale over several days, and then collect their business proceeds to make a charitable contribution. As a whole, the class then votes on which charity should receive their businesses’ collective profits. Fifth Grade classes annually present contributions of several thousand dollars to organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Make a Wish Foundation, the Heart Fund, and City of Hope.

Middle School

Caring for our school community and giving one’s time and energy to make a positive impact on the world are fundamental values at Viewpoint. By volunteering on and off campus, students can explore their particular talents and skills and to learn from others with experiences different from their own. The primary goal of service learning is to help others by contributing to a purpose greater than oneself. Through our Middle School service learning activities, our students will also:
  • Learn the value of compassion and caring.
  • Learn how to put ideas into action.
  • Become more aware of society's needs and of an individual's civic responsibility.
  • Learn how one individual can be important to others.
  • Gain personal experience and skills.
  • Build self-esteem and self-reliance.
Some of our annual service projects include our Thanksgiving Day Food Drive for the West Valley Food Pantry, letter writing to U.S. service people through Operation Gratitude, Student Council-sponsored fundraisers, including the Pink for a Purpose t-shirt drive for breast cancer research, social events with Activities, Recreation & Care for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (ARC), and the Eighth Grade Advisory World Citizenship Project. Students in the Service and Advocacy elective also design and execute community service projects.
 
We encourage students who are active in the community outside of school to share their interests with the student body through Assembly presentations and campaigns on campus to educate the community and support these causes.

Upper School

Viewpoint School is dedicated to creating and encouraging ethical leaders. We strive to develop both intelligence and conscience.

Students at Viewpoint initiate and execute community service activities throughout the year, in which there is a rich exchange between diverse groups of people. Our community exchanges enhance learning and awareness, and inspire an understanding of the world in which we live while fostering ethics, leadership and understanding. By doing so, we as a School are enriched and students learn the value of noble and generous actions.

Community outreach will occur through a combination of individually approved service projects as well as Viewpoint-sponsored projects throughout the year, including our annual Community Service Day the day before Thanksgiving. Because one of the goals of this program is to expand perspectives for our students, they are encouraged to volunteer with non-profits outside of their immediate circles. 

Graduation Requirement

Upper School students are required to complete and record a minimum of 45 hours of community service by the end of the first semester of their senior year. 
 
Suggested benchmarks exist to ensure that seniors will have met their graduation requirement, though we encourage all students to aspire for many more hours beyond the requirement. Hours may accrue starting from the summer prior to freshman year.

Those who enter Viewpoint after their freshman year will have hours prorated according the thresholds listed above, but can instead receive credit according to record with previous school. These students should see the Director of Community Service.

Service Eligibility
Service in the community can occur through a combination of student-chosen, service projects (must be approved) as well as Viewpoint School-sponsored projects, including our annual Community Service Day in November. Because one of the goals of this program is to open new horizons for our students, they are encouraged to volunteer with non-profits outside of their immediate circles. Thus, 15 of the 45 required hours may be earned through School service, such as assisting with School plays, keeping score at athletic events, or setting up School events such as Great Pumpkin Day. The remaining 30 required hours must be earned outside of Viewpoint with non-profit organizations. School service past the 15 hour maximum does not count towards admission into CORE, our Community Service Honor Society. Numerous pre-approved non-profit agencies can be found via Naviance Family Connection. Instructions were e-mailed to all students and parents.

Viewpoint does not award community service credit for projects in which students act as camp counselors or “CITs” in summer/sports camps or music, dance, or riding schools. (Unless students are involved in specific service outreach through that organization, in which case, students can receive credit for those events or performances.) In addition, participation in medical internship programs for community service credit must have prior approval by the Director of Community Service, and may result in partial credit. 

Some examples of previous service projects include:
  • Collecting food and clothing on campus and donating to various groups of people who are in need
  • Donating items and raising money for the children of Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  • Volunteering at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital
  • Preparing and serving meals at Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission
  • Cleaning beaches and waterways 
  • Sorting and distributing food at West Valley Food Pantry, SOVA, and MANNA
  • Preparing meals for AIDS patients in L.A. through Project Angel Food
  • Creating reading programs at local elementary schools
  • Sponsoring Prom Perfect for local, public high-school girls
  • Raising money to install fresh water wells in Africa with Wells Bring Hope
  • Restoring the natural terrain by eliminating non-native plants
  • Volunteering at local animal shelters 
  • Teaching physically and developmentally challenged children to work with and ride horses
  • Raising awareness for various organizations including Alzheimer's Awareness, Special Olympics, Harvest Home, Janada Batchelor Foundation for Children
  • Walking and running to raise funds for AIDSWalk L.A., Relay for Life, Revlon Walk for Women, ALS Walk, and many more
CORE, Viewpoint's Community Service Honor Society
Community Outreach for Everyone (CORE) is the community service honor society at Viewpoint, providing leadership opportunities for students to foster volunteerism in others. Based on the belief that all people have an obligation to share their knowledge and expertise with those in need, each member of CORE initiates and executes community service activities throughout the year in which other students may participate.