Upper School Community Enagement

We expose students to the social and environmental injustices in our local and global community with the goal of fostering a commitment to a lifetime of community and civic engagement within our students. We emphasize the power of relationships and develop programs and events that provide reciprocal benefits for students and community partners.

Connecting Locally

We emphasize the power of relationships and develop programs and events that provide reciprocal benefits for students and community partners. Life Moves, Taft Elementary School, Special of Olympics, Boys and Girls Club, Peninsula Bridge, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Stanford Blood Center.

Knight Vision—Students making a difference

We empower our students to make a difference and to tackle the injustices in their local and global community. Menlo’s student-led Community Engagement Club organizes monthly hands-on opportunities and educates the student body about social issues in interactive ways. The club meets weekly to identify issues and organizations that match their interests.  The students spend time thinking about their role as active citizens and how to raise awareness and effect change.

Menlo Community & Civic Engagement Requirements:
Class of 2020 and Beyond

Students will engage in meaningful community service that addresses a social or environmental injustice and earn 10 community engagement credits each school year. Students may choose to delve into one issue by partnering with a single agency or participate in a variety of experiences. Students who demonstrate a commitment to service well beyond the graduate requirement will earn a Certificate of Citizenship and be honored at an Assembly. 

Community Engagement Credit Guide

Below, view examples of the types of activities students can pursue to earn their civic engagement credits.

2 Credit Opportunities

(one-day events with a low level of time commitment for volunteers)
Menlo Organized Opportunities
• Valpo Fun Run to support Peninsula Bridge 
• Menlo Auction for Financial Aid 
• Special Olympics: Face Painting, Photographer, Set-up/Clean-up 
• Blood Drive 
• Knight Vision Beach Clean-Up 
• Field Day at Taft

Outside (non-Menlo) Opportunities
• Fun Runs/Walks to Support a Cause (i.e. Bridge to Bridge, National Brain Tumor Walk)
• Beach Clean-up Organized by Surfriders Foundation or Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
• Sewing bags or making cards for My New Red Shoes
• Making Blankets for Project Linus
• Serving a meal at St. Anthony’s, Glide
• Sorting food or clothes at a Homeless Shelter
• Working at a Doggie Protective Services adoption event
• Helping at the Re-Store for Habitat for Humanity
• Delivering groceries or meal to a There with Care Family

4 Credit Opportunities

(opportunities with an increased level of volunteer time commitment and which are critical to Menlo’s partnerships)
Menlo Organized Opportunities
• Family Service Day
• Special Olympics Buddy, Timer/Field Events
• Community Cooks
• 9th Literacy Day
• 10th Community Engagement Day 

Outside (non-Menlo) Opportunities
• Cooking and serving a meal at a homeless shelter
• Participating in a Habitat Restoration Project with Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Acterra, Save the Bay, Grassroots Ecology, etc.
• Performing at a senior citizens center
• Performing at a senior citizens center
• Participating in a Habitat for Humanity or Rebuilding Together 1 day project
• Hosting a party for the clients at a Life Moves site
• Participating in Relay for Life 24 hours Walk

6 Credit Opportunities

Menlo Organized Opportunities
(opportunities that require a long-term commitment or an immersive experience that is at least 1 week long)
• Taft Math Center (6 week session)
• Reading Partners Volunteer (6 week session)
• Boys and Girls Club Power Hour Tutor or Elective Teacher (6 week session)
• Life Moves Homework Center Tutor (6 weeks session)
• Peninsula Bridge Middle Academy Tutor (6 week session)

Outside (non-Menlo) Opportunities
• SPCA Junior Volunteer Position (6 week commitment)
• Coaching a Special Olympics team (6 week commitment)
• Global Leadership Adventures Service Trip
• Rustic Pathways Service Trip

8 Credit Opportunities

Menlo Organized Opportunities
(Summer internships with partner agencies that require a high level of volunteer time commitment or immersive volunteer-based program)
• Peninsula Bridge Teaching Assistant
• Boys and Girls of the Peninsula Summer Intern
• Life Moves Summer Intern or Camp Counselor
• Menlo Abroad Trip

Outside (non-Menlo) Opportunities
• Interning at a non-profit whose mission addresses a social or environmental injustice (3 weeks for full work days or 6 weeks for half work days commitment)

10 Credit Opportunities

Outside (non-Menlo) Opportunities
(high level of volunteer commitment over an extended period of time)
• Amigos high school program (1 school year and summer commitment)
• Health City Tutor (1 academic year)
• Ronald McDonald House (6 month commitment)
• Lucile Packard Hospital (6 month commitment)

*Please keep in mind that students must address a social or environmental injustice through their volunteer work in order to receive citizenship credit.

Optional Individualized Community Engagement Project

Students who are passionate about service and want to examine the root causes of a social and/or an environmental injustice are encouraged to develop their own project that matches their interests. Interested students should contact the Director of Community and Civic Engagement to design their own project. Students will earn 20 community engagement credits because of the high level of volunteer commitment and academic nature of project.

Community Engagement Honors

  • Blue Level Award: 20 community engagement credits in a school year
  • Gold Level Award: 30 or more community engagement credits in a school year

Menlo Community Engagement Requirements:
Classes of 2018 and 2019

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