Why do we serve?
Service is a high value at Learnwell for multiple reasons. First, we believe it’s a terrific way for students and their families to connect outside of school. Second, our hope is that by giving students a chance to “try out” different models of service, they will discover something they love.
This discovery aligns with our belief that all students are wired by God with different talents, gifts, and passions. Volunteer opportunities help our students learn more about how God has designed them and uniquely gifted them.
Finally, we believe that service at all levels – in the home, in the classroom, and in our community – keeps us connected to our humanity. Everyone needs help sometimes, and we want Learnwell students to embrace their own need for help at times.
In short, service teaches us that we all have needs, and we all have something to give. It’s also biblical, and Learnwell operates from a Christian worldview.
What volunteer opportunities (teens) and what volunteer opportunities (children) does Learnwell offer?
Students at Learnwell serve in small ways throughout the school year. First and foremost, we encourage them to serve their classroom and their fellow students.
Many of our teachers have classroom service roles that get distributed and rotated throughout the school year. Our second-graders, for example, clean up their classroom and decorate their space when seasons change.
The fourth and fifth graders serve in a variety of roles to help with classroom organization and to learn how to care for their classroom supplies. Sixth and seventh graders serve our kindergarten and first-grade classrooms by participating in art projects, leading them in devotions, and reading books to them throughout the year.
Our teens are offered opportunities to participate in service at school by helping set up for special events, taking care of the middle school and high school classrooms and leading our younger students when invited by teachers.
Another way that our teens serve is by participating in fundraisers and serving students at special events. One example is one of the school’s most well-attended events. Every fall, our community hosts a school fall festival.
Older students help run some of the activities, such as face painting and games, for the younger students.
Examples of Community Service
In addition to serving inside the classroom, our middle school students have opportunities to serve through student-led middle-school-only service projects. One example is that our middle school students will provide artwork for hospitals in 2023 through an organization called Hospital Art. They also made time to host a Christmas Bazaar in 2022 to support patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
We believe it’s important for all ages to get to serve in some capacity. It’s not required at Learnwell, but it is something many of our students enjoy and get excited about doing.
Younger students get to participate in our seasonal volunteer opportunities, such as supporting foster children at Christmas, making cards for senior citizens, or serving at a local food pantry.
One of our favorite ways to serve in the spring includes all students. They participate in a school walk-a-thon to raise money for clean water through an organization called Water Is Basic.
Places to Volunteer
Because we believe in student-led opportunities to serve and school-initiated volunteer opportunities, Learnwell’s service options may shift from year to year.
Some of our favorite local places to volunteer (so far) include:
- Meals by Grace – This is an organization where children can serve in the kitchen once a month to provide meals for hungry residents of north Georgia. They also host a food pantry and grocery delivery service for residents in need.
- Act Together Ministries – This organization is a children’s charity that serves foster children throughout the Metro Atlanta area. They help with many of the “extras” that children in the foster care system go without, such as school supplies in August, Easter baskets, Christmas gifts, and sock and shoe drives. The founders have a huge heart for families being able to serve together.
- Foundation for Hospital Art – This group is dedicated to making a hospital experience less stressful by providing beautiful artwork to decorate hospital spaces with the help of volunteers.
Our students have also participated in fundraising for the following organizations:
- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – CHOA is a local children’s hospital that provides expert medical care for thousands of children every year.
- Water Is Basic – This organization “innovates sustainable, women-led local solutions to basic water problems.” They are sustained by locals in the countries where they work, which includes South Sudan.
The Future Is Bright: Planning Ahead
The Learnwell staff and students are always thinking about ways to serve their community in new and unique ways. While we haven’t been able to serve with these wonderful organizations yet, they’re on our radar for ways to make an impact both globally and locally.
- The Sandwich Project Atlanta – To meet food scarcity needs in the Atlanta area, volunteers with The Sandwich Project assemble sandwiches to deliver in areas of need.
- Furkids – This organization operates the largest cage-free, no-kill shelter in the Southeast for cats and a no-kill shelter for dogs. They also provide a clinic and other services for animals in addition to helping dogs and cats find their “furr-ever” home through fostering and adoption.
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