Service learning is at the heart of our values-based education at St. Mary's Academy, spanning all grades and divisions. Through service, students embody our commitment to love, embrace the art of learning from those they serve, and realize their capacity to shape positive transformations.
In the Lower School, service learning is achieved through collection drives, assemblies, nonprofits adopted by grade levels, and whole-school challenges. In the Middle School, Community Action Teams perform work in the community throughout the year. The High School sponsors an outreach club and a service day, and every single St. Mary’s Academy High School student performs 100 hours of independent long-term service with one of 120 nonprofit organizations before graduation.
Why Service Learning Matters
Embarking on service learning impacts communities and shapes students' character and skills. As highlighted by youth.gov, well-structured service learning fosters essential social-emotional skills, crafting empathetic and resilient individuals. By engaging in meaningful work for local organizations, our students positively shift perceptions of youth in the community, establishing themselves as agents of change.
Effective service learning seamlessly integrates with the curriculum, extending learning beyond the classroom walls. Our approach involves thoughtful organization, ensuring students engage meaningfully, learn profoundly, and have time for reflection. Through civic learning and global engagement, we prepare our students to lead as compassionate agents of change, equipped to navigate the complexities of the 21st century.
At St. Mary's Academy, service learning isn't just a program - it embodies of our commitment to shaping conscientious citizens, nurturing leadership, and empowering our students to be the change they wish to see in the world.
Of Middle School students and staff participate in service learning
High School volunteer organizations
Hours of service completed annually by high school students
Rooted in history and fueled by compassion, St. Mary's Academy has a time-honored tradition of service that has spanned generations.
As the world grappled with the turmoil of World War I, the St. Mary's Academy Alumnae Auxiliary emerged as a force for good. Sisters, alumnae, and students united to create a Red Cross Unity. Their collective efforts were driven by a mission to provide esential aid to soldiers in need. From crafting hospital garments and bandages to knitting scarves, blankets, and socks, the SMA community worked to bring comfort to hospitalized soldiers.
A testament to the enduring spirit of service, the senior class organized a benefit dance, raising $100 for the War Work Fund. This early demonstration of solidarity marked the beginning of a legacy that continues to thrive today.
To delve deeper into the heart of service tradition, read the Tradition of Service blog by Regina Drey, SL and Director of Loretto Projects.
We love the St. Mary’s Academy students ...They’re self-directed, they’re motivated, and because you instill in them a sense of service, they deliver for us.
- Eileen Robinson, Volunteer Coordinator Clothes for Kids Denver where last year, 31 St. Mary’s Academy High School students performed 730 hours of service.
High School Director of Service Learning, Humanities Teacher
Director of Loretto Projects and Community Engagement, Middle School Spanish Teacher.
Regina Drey, SL
Director of Loretto Projects, Historian