Academics

Service Learning

Serve to Learn, Learn to Serve

The Buckley School's extensive program of service learning engages students in local and global communities through their support of causes, agencies, and individuals in need. Service learning brings critical elements of Buckley's mission to life and actively supports the development of well-rounded individuals through ethical education.

Activities as varied as natural habitat restoration, food drives, fundraising for disaster relief, math mentoring, and shelter animal care, enable students to enrich and be enriched by the world around them. Students see, firsthand, how the power of their actions can make a positive difference in communities near and far and in their own lives.

FAQ

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • What is service learning?

    Based on the National Youth Leadership Council's definition of service learning, service learning is an approach to teaching and learning in which students use academic knowledge to address genuine community needs.
  • How do I access the site where I can log my volunteer hours?

    If you are a current service learning student, you can log in to Helper Helper, accessible from the SERVICE LEARNING resource board in MyBUCKLEY. This app allows you to log your hours, complete a referral request, and more. If you have questions about using it, contact the Service Learning Coordinator, Ms. Abadou, at sabadou@buckley.org.
  • What if I just don't have time for service learning?

    Many students juggle classes, extracurricular responsibilities, family obligations, and other activities. Often you can choose to volunteer somewhere that will accommodate a schedule or location that's convenient for you.

    If you need help matching a volunteer opportunity to your needs, talk to your service learning coordinator, Ms. Abadou at sabadou@buckley.org. Be sure to do this at the beginning of the semester.
  • What if I'm being asked to do work that wasn't in the position description I signed up for? What if the organization doesn't have enough work for me to do?

    It's important to realize that your time commitment to an organization is small (2 to 3 hours per engagement). Most organizations have limited resources, and they will need to balance the time and effort they put into training and supervising you. Nonetheless, one of the key goals of service learning is to allow students to provide relevant and meaningful service in the community. Your service learning coordinator will work with community partners to be sure you have that opportunity.

    It's important to know that whatever work you do at a community organization, it may have more impact than you first realize. For example, if you're tutoring or mentoring a child while their parents are in a parenting class or in a job-skills workshop, you may think you're just babysitting. In reality, you're allowing those parents to improve their family's quality of life, and you're helping the organization provide services to parents who might not be able to take advantage of them otherwise. If you're stuffing envelopes at an organization, those envelopes may carry a fundraising request to hundreds of donors on whom the organization relies to carry out its work. Whatever your position within the organization, we encourage you to learn as much as you can about the organization's work and how your efforts fit into it. Don't be afraid to ask questions that will help you understand your experience and connect it to what you're learning in class.
  • How do I log my hours?  

    You log your hours in the Helper Helper app. There is a Helper Helper Guide on the SERVICE LEARNING resource board with instructions. If you require further assistance please contact Sabine Abadou at sabadou@buckley.org.
  • What are some important guidelines for working with community partners?  

    Before signing up with a site, set up a meeting with Service Learning Coordinator Ms. Abadou to discuss your objectives and the mission of the organization, complete the Buckley Service Learning Agreement, and complete any agency paperwork. You should go into the meeting having completed research on and developed an understanding of the organization with which you are partnering. Set up a schedule with your site supervisor to ensure weekly consistency throughout the semester. For example, serving every Tuesday from 3:00-6:00 p.m. for 10 weeks. Consistency is crucial for building relationships with staff and those you are serving. This is especially important when working with children.
  • How can I contact the Service Learning Coordinator?

    Buckley’s Service Learning Coordinator, Sabine Abadou, can be reached at 818 783-1610 ext 411 or emailed at sabadou@buckley.org

Goals of Service Learning at Buckley

  • To enhance the classroom experience by reinforcing existing course concepts and providing opportunities to make connections
  • To encourage critical thinking, civic responsibility, and engaged citizenship
  • To offer a means for our school community to engage in reciprocal partnerships with organizations and agencies that serve the common good in our community.
  • To actively seek to understand and value the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of those offering and receiving service.
  • To identify and analyze different points of view to gain an understanding of multiple perspectives.
  • To promote the acquisition of youth leadership, collaboration, and decision-making skills.

Service Learning Updates

List of 3 news stories.

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Student Leaders for Service Committee
The Student Leaders for Service Committee is a group of dedicated individuals (grades 6-12) that are fully committed to living Buckley's Mission through service. The committee is comprised of 22 members, all of whom are held to high standards and expected to exceed the minimum member responsibilities. The group carefully plans and volunteers at events to promote the well-being of unhoused individuals, veterans, the disabled, foster children, refugees, the environment, and more. 
 
Six students are selected from Middle School and 16 students are selected from Upper School. Consideration is made to those who have demonstrated interest or engagement in service, diversity, equity, inclusion, and leadership on Buckley's campus and beyond!

Middle School

List of 6 items.

  • Chance G.-S. | Grade 6

    Why is being of service important to you? I have been raised to always be a giver and not a taker. There is so much joy in calling to help others, especially those that can’t help themselves.

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? Globally, the greatest issue we are facing today is women’s rights. If you take a look and see what is happening with the oppression in Iran, it is absolutely heartbreaking. Young girls are forced to wear things they don’t want to, they cannot show their hair or femininity. Married women have to get permission from their husbands to travel or even go out of the house without a chaperone. This is absolutely crazy in the American mindset, where we see women as equal to men.

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? Since my mother is an attorney, I have always been involved in various legal pro bono work. I am often going with her to help less fortunate/ homeless/ hungry children and donate backpacks and school supplies. We also encourage the young females in more urban schools to pursue education, and my mom always offers internships to those young girls looking to better themselves. I always go with my mom when she makes these speeches and presentations

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I’m always cognizant that living in the United States, we all have more rights than women living abroad. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of my great idols, and I always keep in mind that one woman can raise so many others. Meeting Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was also a great honor. She also encouraged me to keep reading, keep studying, and keep reaching for the stars! It is not a cliché, it is a mantra I live by.
  • Lucas K. | Grade 7

    Why is being of service important to you? So I can help make the world or community a better place for everyone and to be involved in these kinds of experiences help me grow as a person and a learner. 

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I think any issue that involves discrimination in any way is considered a pressing social justice issue.

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I can’t think of any besides my elementary school.

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I will apply what I’ve learned to my everyday life and learning by helping others open mindedness and awareness grow as well as my own.  
  • Max S. | Grade 7

    Why is being of service important to you? Helping others in need, and spreading good in the community. Additionally, I would like to make a difference in the lives of others whether big or small.

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I think that the most pressing social justice issue in the world is racism. Racism has had a long history in America. While the situation has improved over the years, we are not there yet. It is the responsibility of the younger generation to end racism.

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have participated in an organization called Heal the Bay in the past. This is where the community comes together and picks up trash from LA beaches. Having a clean beach for humans and marine creatures is crucial. This is why I joined the organization.

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I will focus on the relevance of what I’m learning and take time to reflect on what I have learned. I will learn from others and learn from myself, and with this knowledge,  apply it to future situations.
  • Nicholas C. | Grade 8

    Why is being of service important to you? Being of service is the gateway of helping the community and others

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I think the pressing social justice issue is the lockdown in China because people are restricted from doing basic actions and interacting with each other which is basically social isolation

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have partnered with the DEI office to bring knowledge of horrible things that have been going on around the globe.

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I will take into heart everything that I have learned.
  • Talia C. | Grade 7

    Why is being of service important to you? Being of service is important to me because it shows that as a person and a citizen, you are doing your job for your local and global community, willingly doing whatever possible to help someone in need, and helping people live their life to its fullest. It also shows that you care about others and our own community, as well as our own planet.  

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I believe the most pressing social justice issue is inequity between all people. No matter someone’s race, gender, sexuality, religion, profession, etc. a person is always judged. Our planet should be a place where everyone feels safe, welcomed, and loved, however, we know that it’s going to take a long time to make that happen. This social justice issue is one of the things that has been slowly tearing apart our local and global community, and I hope that this overall issue will be continually getting better within future generations. 

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have partnered with Girl Scouts as myself being a Girl Scout, and am currently a Cadette, being with the organization for about six years. I am with Girl Scouts to learn how to be an active community leader, to help serve my local and global community, to empower young women across the globe, and to help people and our planet in any way possible. My mother is on the Board of Directors for the Asian Youth Center non-profit organization, and I plan to help my mother with their obligations and activities. AYC’s mission is to help underprivileged youth and their families succeed, to be happy, and to be healthy in life, and that’s exactly what I want to do as well. 

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? Every single day, your mind grows as you go through school, life, learning, etc. Much of this comes with many different life lessons–as they say, ‘you learn something new every day’! I will apply many of the things I’ve learned everyday to my everyday life and learning, because it helps me grow as a person and helps my determination to achieve different goals. I will apply what I’ve learned to help my community thrive, to help make the world a better place, to teach others what I’ve learned, and to hopefully inspire people for the next generation. 
  • Zackary S. | Grade 7

    Why is being of service important to you? Both our local and global community currently face many challenges, but when we all come together, we can make a big difference and impact the world for the better.

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I am particularly concerned about both LBGTQ+ and women's rights.

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have partnered with the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, Lowman School, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, H.O.L.A., and The Boys and Girls Club of San Fernando Valley. Also, I started an organization called Planet Lemonade, a mobile lemonade stand that promotes and raises money for various non-profit organizations, including those listed above, Water for South Sudan (in response to reading the book “A Long Walk to Water”, and United Way of Southern Louisiana (hurricane relief.) Each of these organizations is making a difference to those in need. 
     
    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I will get a deeper understanding of the current issues, organizations targeting them, how I can make a difference, and spread the word.

Upper School

List of 12 items.

  • Abigail D. | Grade 11

    Why is being of service important to you? Being of service is important to me because I love being able to give back to a community that helped me. I also love to be able to help people who are less fortunate that I am, and use all my resources that are given to me, to help other people. 

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? The most pressing social justice issue that is going on right now, in my opinion is homelessness. Since we live in LA, we are faced with this issue almost every day. It is so upsetting to see people living on the streets, especially during the high heat. I feel that there is a lot more that can be done to help the homeless, on top of what's being done already. 

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I am a part of the climate action team which is working to create a more sustainable campus and promotes recycling. 

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I will apply my problem solving skills to service learning. An experience that I have with this is moving from New York to California, which taught me to think of solutions quickly or when an answer may not seem evident and adapt to new environments. This is especially crucial in dealing with dire situations whether it be helping people get off the streets during a heat wave or working with people who need immediate care. 
  • Catherine C. | Grade 11

    Why is being of service important to you? I believe service is important because it allows me to give back to the community and help people in need.

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I think poverty is the most pressing social justice issue because many people are adversely affected by poverty due to lack of income and resources needed. Hunger, poor health, and homelessness are all causes and effects of poverty.

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have partnered with Children’s Hunger Fund packing boxes full of food to send to other countries in need. I heard about Children’s Hunger Fund through Buckley and I volunteer every now and then with my family.

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? Helping others is an essential everyday life skill. Service has allowed me to be more empathetic and understanding of others and our differences.
  • Elan H. | Grade 10

    Why is being of service important to you? I truly feel that helping people is my calling and I would love to get to do that through the Buckley community.

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? The refugee crisis, veteran issues and awareness, and disability issues and awareness.

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have talked with the Wyakin Foundation because I know the people behind it and I think that they are doing amazing work reintegrating veterans back into society. 

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? Anyone who is in need will get the help they deserve. If someone is homeless on the side of the street, give them some food, if you see someone struggling with the door, open it for them, small things that make an impact on the world in the long run. 
  • Ella R. | Grade 11

    Why is being of service important to you? I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to be educated and helpful to one another. While I recognize the faults of our society, I feel the next generation has an obligation to try to fix previous mistakes made. 

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I believe the most pressing social justice issue locally is homelessness and mental health, while worldwide is global warming. 

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have been a part of SCLC since seventh grade, as I cofounded a branch for youth activism. 

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? Leadership is an irreplaceable skill that helps in every aspect of life! Learning to be a good member and/or leader of a group can help in most settings and be used to make positive change within that respective community. 
  • Iris K. | Grade 9

    Why is being of service important to you? I believe service is not just about providing for others, but sharing empathy and spreading kindness to benefit others in need to minimize their struggles.

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? The refugee crisis really concerns me. Many individuals struggle and are barely able to have proper housing because of the circumstances in their home country (Ex. Ukrainians) and face mental health struggles from being homesick and stressed about the situation they endure. Financial and housing struggles are also dire from them.

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I haven’t partnered with any yet, but I want to very soon. 

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I will definitely learn about ways to provide for others for any situation and the power of empathy. Providing for others will help in my everyday life and learning as it will help me be in affinity with others. Empathy is a huge ability to have in general, because we cannot be indifferent. Overall, I know that SLSC will guide me in my personal and school life because of all the compassion and acts of assistance I will provide. 
  • Kaiden H. | Grade 11

    Why is being of service important to you? Being of service allows me to give back to my community, thus giving me a sense of accomplishment and goodwill. In addition, helping others creates a new feeling of joy and purpose.

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? Rather than just one issue, I think the most pressing social justice problem is fear, whether it be fear of change or fear of possibilities and everything in between. This fear, which drives prejudice, racism, sexism, and many of the other pressing issues is the root of most issues.

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have partnered with TeenTalk and JBBBSLA to help people struggling with mental health. With familial and personal connections to mental health illnesses, I felt working with these organizations would help me gain insight while supporting others. 

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? My learning easily applies to my everyday life in basic social interactions, as it provides another perspective on how to treat others. In addition, I learned ways to further my learning and how to approach issues, both regarding school and life as a whole.
  • Kaivan H. | Grade 11

    Why is being of service important to you? I believe there are many issues in our society today, and I would like to take part in helping change things around. I would like to not only help contribute to the community in all empowering ways, I would also like to serve as a mentor. 

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I believe that police brutality among Black individuals is the most pressing social justice issue. Even with all the protests that took place, you would think that police officers would finally stop, however you still see many circumstances on the news and such. It is not ok for events like these to take place, especially all the way in 2022, where everyone should have the right to live freely in their own skin. They should be able to go on a walk and return safely, without being murdered. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in many areas, however police brutality has been going on forever, and needs to come to an end.

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? My friends Arman and Aria N. have created a non profit organization called “Kids equal Kids”  which I am involved in. Over the summer we took a service trip to Punta Mita, Mexico to understand more about the lives of the underserved and underprivileged children within their communities. We were able to do things like help pay for medical expenses and life saving surgeries, replace air conditioning units in classrooms, and play soccer with some kids, as a unique bonding experience.  In the past I have also done numerous volunteering activities, such as serving and making food for homeless at a church on thanksgiving. I have also volunteered numerous hours at food banks like LA works and AIDS Project LA where I helped package bags of food for homeless, and individuals suffering from AIDS. I have also run 5k marathons which benefit breast cancer awareness by raising money.

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I would like to pass down knowledge that I am able to gain from my experiences in SLSC, and in turn, someone else can make an impact of their own, in their community.
  • Kayla H. | Grade 11

    Why is being of service important to you? Being of service is essential to me because I want to help people in need.  

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? Some pressing social justice issues that come to mind are Black Lives Matter and Female Rights. I feel like these issues are important to me because Black Lives Matter was such a massive problem during quarantine. I remember going to protest for this issue when I was in ninth grade. We made signs and we protested for a couple of hours. I also feel that female rights are also an important topic because I feel that men and women should be equal. I feel as though there shouldn’t be dominant sex. 

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I am not currently involved in any organizations, but I am planning to join one. Over the summer, I did an internship at BLT communications. BLT makes posters for movies. I also joined lots of clubs at school such as Robotics, BSU, and Climate Action Team. 
     
    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I try to apply what I’ve learned to my everyday life by doing everything to the best of my abilities.  
  • Lucy R. | Grade 10

    Why is being of service important to you? Our world is flawed, and by ignoring or disregarding those flaws we are only making the abundance of issues worse for many people. By participating in Service, we can make a change and have a positive impact to repair the flawed issues in our world. Growing up seeing children younger than me forced out of school to work (reinforcing the poverty cycle), or forced to stay at home when they have their periods or to look after sick relatives or children (reinforcing gender stereotypes), I’ve seen that my life experiences have placed me in a privileged position. I want to use my experience, connections, and access to resources to assist others in any way that I can. 

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? Globally, our biggest issue is lack of equity. Especially when it comes to lack of access to education, food, infrastructure, or inequalities on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, or national origin, there are so many issues that must be resolved. Coming from Singapore, I’ve grown up in a very rich city where one can take a half-hour plane ride to a country living in extreme poverty. I’ve seen the issues in our world firsthand - pollution, poverty, lack of education, lack of equality, and I've seen that they disproportionately affect women. By having better access to education, food, and infrastructure for not only women but all people, our global society will be better supported and strengthened. 

    Which organization have you partnered with and why?
    • PPIS in Singapore - This was a local preschool that partnered with my international school. For 3 consecutive years, I was the Chair of the Service Program for PPIS which provided access to quality English literature programs, games, and activities for children aged 4-5 years old.
    • Willing Hearts in Singapore - as part of my National Youth Achievement Award activities completing over 100 hours of service over 8 months in 2021, I regularly volunteered to cook and prepare nutritious meals for the elderly and underprivileged population. 
    • Freedom Cups - in order to promote their mission to donate a product to a woman living in South East Asia for every product sold, I partnered with Freedom Cups to sell their products at my school in Singapore. 
    • Free The Bears Foundation in Cambodia - This foundation rescues and rehabilitates sun and moon bears that are victims of both the Bear Bile trade of eastern medicine and the palm oil trade destroying their habitats. In 2018 with my school and in 2022 with my family, I did volunteer work on the feeding program of the rescued sun bears and moon bears at the Free the Bears Refuge in Phnom Pehn.
    • The Juara Turtle Project in Malaysia - This foundation rehabilitates the turtle population that is a victim of the Southeast Asian tourist market. I worked with Juara in Pulau Tioman moving turtle populations from crowded tourist beaches to hidden locations in order to promote breeding safety.

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? Over the last 4 years I have had opportunities to be involved in several Service activities throughout South East Asia. Being a part of the Student Leaders for Service Committee at Buckley will allow me to understand and participate in Service activities in an American setting, while also developing connections and benefiting people in Los Angeles. 
  • Madison P. | Grade 9

    Why is being of service important to you? I have always loved being able to help people and meet different people. Being of service to others. Ever since I was little I have always enjoyed helping others.

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I think that the homeless issue in LA is something that needs immediate attention. If you filled the entire Staples Center TWICE that would equal the number of homeless people living in LA. I believe the best solution to this issue is to build more affordable housing as well as use the space we have more effectively. I think this is such an important thing to be addressed because we have so many homeless people wandering the streets all over LA barely getting by. 

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have run a donation drive and partnered with the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital since I was in second grade. I even used to ask Santa for toys for my donation every year. I believe that toys can bring so much joy to kids when they are in the hospital. Playfulness & joy bring light into this world, and through selflessness and kindness, we can spread love to others. I often talk to the nurses every year, and the donations we bring every Christmas helps to inspire hope & happiness at the hospital. 

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I think that learning to put others before yourself in their times of need is such a valuable thing to learn when starting Upper School. We need more genuine compassion & selflessness in this world. 
  • Mali L. | Grade 10

    Why is being of service important to you? Being of service is important to me because I believe that it is crucial to do outreach and give back to our community. Partaking in service makes me an active member of my community. Through service, people are given resources they need to thrive which allows them to contribute to society at a higher level. Service can be done in so many different ways, and no matter what, it always impacts people positively. 

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? Locally, in the state of California specifically, I believe homelessness is one of the most pressing social justice issues. Homelessness can also be linked to many other forms of injustice such as mental health/disability discrimination and food insecurity. 
    I am also very passionate about social injustice relating to health and healthcare. This is a major global issue which I have spoken and acted on recently. 

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? I have partnered with The Cancer Cartel to form their Junior Ambassadors Board. This is a non-profit organization led by three female cancer thrivers, who give grants to cancer patients who struggle affording treatment. This cause is very personal to me as many women in my family have had breast cancer and gone through these treatments. This is why my family and I feel so strongly about supporting other patients and giving back. 

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I will apply what I’ve learned from the Student Leaders for Service Committee into my everyday life and learning. Through community service, not only have I learned new skills, such as assembling bikes and boxes, I have taken these opportunities to reflect and realize that all of my actions have an impact on the world. Therefore, my intent is to always have a positive impact as a leader, student, friend, and daughter. 
  • Paulina J. | Grade 11

    Why is being of service important to you? Being of service is important to me because I feel it is the best way to give back to our community. Being of service also helps raise social awareness and to build future relationships. Helping others is significant to me because it brings people together to strengthen our humanity. 

    What do you think is the most pressing social justice issue (local or global)? I think the most pressing social justice issue in current times is the rising Women’s Rights movement in Iran. Women have faced serious persecution during the Islamic Regime’s forty-three-year reign. Innocent young women's lives are being taken from them because they aren’t following the Regime’s restrictive laws of oppression. This relates to a greater, worldwide issue of governments trying to control women's bodies. 

    Which organization have you partnered with and why? Recently, I’ve partnered with Amnesty International and taken over the Buckley AI Student Group. I was searching for ways to fight for human rights on a global scale, and Amnesty International was the perfect opportunity. 

    How will you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and learning? I will apply what I’ve learned by continuing to help and advocate for others, especially by speaking up for those without a voice. I’ll apply my skills as a leader and educator to help those in need, and use my learned empathy to connect deeper with others. I think a part of what makes service learning so important is how its lessons can help you with every facet of your life.