Outreach Central Texas: the 7th grade service project
When the 7th grade service project trip to Heifer Ranch was canceled unexpectedly, the 7th grade team, with only a couple months to plan, saw the sudden change as an opportunity. They planned a three day trip for the 7th grade that kept the focus on “looking at the world in a service oriented way”, but added elements they'd been hoping to incorporate for the past several years. In hopes of creating a more meaningful experience for each student, they put students in small groups to complete different service projects and put a local emphasis on the trip, focusing on Austin area non-profit organizations.
Over the course of the three days, the 74 members of the Class of 2025, divided into 12 groups ranging from 5 to 13 students, researched and volunteered at the following Austin non-profit organizations:
Work at the different organizations included gardening and landscaping, preparing a home for a family to move into, working in a food pantry, and transporting, organizing and rebagging some of the Hands for Hope bags that the SAS community donated. Through the presentations they made to their peers, parents and teachers after the trip, it is clear that each student enjoyed, appreciated and learned from the opportunity to meet, and spend time with people in the community they are growing up in. Particularly noting the joy they experienced from helping others.
Once they finished up their work for the day, students and chaperones came back together each night at Camp Buckner in Burnet, Texas. They spent their evenings reflecting on and sharing their work and experience with their peers, working together on team building activities and having some good ole summer camp fun!
Despite the limited time to plan, the 7th grade team is very excited about the new format for the 7th grader service trip, and look forward to another Outreach Central Texas again next year!
Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.