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Community Service

Effect change. Make connections. Learn and help.


The Menlo School Community Service Learning Program reinforces Menlo’s commitment to help students become ethical, responsible, and engaged members of ever-wider communities and to develop a sense of commitment to purposes larger than themselves. The program exposes students to significant social issues and empowers them to solve problems and effect positive change.

Middle School

The Middle School makes a serious effort to relate academics to local community needs.  Students in each grade spend multiple service days per year working in the community organizations. Volunteers from those organizations speak to the students beforehand.

Each grade level focuses on a theme and works with partner organizations. 

6th Grade Service Learning at SF-Marin Food Bank
Sixth Grade: Sustainability
  • SF-Marin Food Bank
  • Sunol AgPark
7th Grade Service Learning at Opportunity Center
Seventh Grade: Hunger and Homelessness
  • InnVision Shelter Network
  • Stop Hunger Now
8th Grade Service Learning at Ravenswood Elementary Schools
Eighth Grade: Education and Leadership
  • Ravenswood School District
  • Thanksgiving Lunch at Opportunity Center

 You can find information about these field trips on the Middle School calendar.

Upper School

In the Upper School, students are given increasing responsibility to choose their own issues, agencies and projects to fulfill this educational requirement. A Community Service Coordinator oversees the program and helps students find community service opportunities. The Upper School also maintains a community service club, Knight Vision. The Upper School program also offers a Service Scholar Certificate of Concentration and Commitment, similar to a college concentration, to acknowledge students who have demonstrated a dedication to service.

Menlo School students providing community service at InnVision. Photo by Felix McLaughlan.Menlo School students providing community service at InnVision. Photo by Felix McLaughlan.Freshmen participate in a class-wide community service day at Taft Elementary School, as well as select from other community service opportunities, both on and off campus. The day is centered around literacy and mentoring, and Menlo freshmen assist homeroom teachers, lead read-aloud lessons, and run games at recess and during lunch. Students will become familiar with the school and the social issues, problem solve, and reflect on their experience during the Student Life Block.

Sophomores participate in a class-wide community service with their advocacy group their Advocacy group. Each Advocacy group will have a chance to review six organizations Menlo is partnering with and select which social injustice to address.

  • Homelessness: InnVision Shelter Network and Homeless Garden Project
  • At-Risk Youth: The Boys and Girls of the Peninsula and
  • Hunger: Glide Foundation
  • Environment: Golden Gate Parks Conservatory
  • Literacy: Reading Partners

Beginning in the second quarter, each sophomore will develop his or her Personalized Action-Community Time (PACT) proposal. Students can begin to implement their project in the spring of their sophomore year and have until the first day of classes their senior year to complete their volunteer work. The PACT enables students to build on the skills they developed as freshmen and gives them the freedom to create a service project related to a social issue of personal importance. PACT’s most important goal is to encourage students to take ownership and to develop a sense of commitment to purposes larger than themselves.

PACT Requirements: Students must do the following to complete their PACT:

  1. PLAN & RESEARCH: Complete an Action Plan and have it approved.
  2. VOLUNTEER: Serve at the organization a minimum of six times.
  3. REFLECT: Blog about your service work after your 3rd and 6th visit.
  4. SHARE: Present the project to the Menlo Community in the first quarter of the senior year.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors, in addition to carrying out a successful PACT, are required to participate in at least five of the following Menlo service opportunities:

  • Blood Drives
  • Special Olympics
  • Community Cooks
  • Taft Math Tutoring Program
  • Menlo Admission Events
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Peninsula Bridge (Summer Program and/or Valpo Fun Run)
  • Taft Community Fair
  • Annual Dinner and Auction
  • Participation in one of Menlo’s Service Clubs