Service Learning Opportunities and Resources

Welcome to the St. Luke's Service page. These resources are here to help students as they live out our school motto, Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve. Supportive parents will also find many of their questions about the service requirement answered here.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • How many hours of community service do I need to complete in the Upper School?

    • Every Upper School student is required to complete twenty hours of community service per high school year.  These hours accumulate over the years to reach the total required for graduation (so if a student earns more than 20 hours in a year, those excess hours will be applied to the following year). 
    • Additionally, all students must complete ONE reflection over the course of their high school years on a service experience that they have had. Details can be found on this Service Resource page. 
    • Students may start acquiring hours as soon as they complete 8th grade. 
  • What sort of community service “counts?”

    • All hours that are not paid with any nonprofit organization (outside of St. Luke's School) will count.
    • Any paid work, whether or not it is for a nonprofit, may not be applied toward this requirement.  
    • If a student volunteers their time with a for-profit organization, half of the hours will apply toward their community service requirement. When submitting hours through MobileServe, please write in the comment box that you are recording 1/2 of the hours that were volunteered. 
  • How do I document my hours? 

    • All hours are documented through the online MobileServe system. All students are registered with their St. Luke's email.
    • When you want to enter your hours, simply log onto MobileServe and put in the information about your work. Be sure to include a supervisor's email and give them the heads up that they're going to be receiving a verification email from MobileServe.
    • If you notice that your supervisor hasn't approved your hours through MobileServe, you may send them an email asking for confirmation through the email and forward the email response to Ms. Parker-Burgard ( 
  • How do I find out about volunteer work?

    • There are frequently all-school community service activities at which you can earn hours.
    • Check with local organizations: rec departments, libraries, Emergency Medical Services, and fire departments have all been popular with our students. Some students also do volunteer work through their religious organization, scout troop, or National Charity League.
    • This Service Resource Board has many suggestions for volunteer work. In particular, please see the Ongoing Opportunities in the Links section and special events in the Announcements section.
    • Please set up an appointment with Ms. Parker-Burgard in the Center for Leadership to meet with her and discuss your particular interests.
  • Do I need to work with any specific organizations?

    • No, students are encouraged to use their passions and interests to find things that are meaningful.  Students may choose to do all of their hours with a single organization, or spread their hours among different projects. 
  • What about volunteer work that I do at St. Luke's School?

    On-campus service is a meaningful way to support the school community and can help build a strong leadership resume. A central part of the service requirement is reaching out beyond the school community, so we generally don't grant service hours for volunteer work that serves St. Luke's School. However, a student may get volunteer hours for work on campus under the following circumstances:
    • The on-campus activity involves a nonprofit, such as volunteering at the Special Olympics basketball tournament or a large on-campus fundraising activity for a nonprofit organization.
    • The on-campus activity is designed to reach out to non-SLS community members. 
  • What do I need to know about the Service Reflection? 

    Students are required to devote 20 hours of their service to a single cause or organization.  For example, they could volunteer 20 hours with a single homeless shelter, or they can distribute 20 hours of service among different homeless shelters.  That experience will become part of their Service Reflection, which is due anytime before Spring Break of senior year (it can be done as early as freshman year, if the student has done the 20 hours).  See the Reflection Requirement in the Download section of this page for more details on the writing.
  • What is the purpose of the reflection and hourly service requirement in the Upper School? 

    This requirement helps students develop habits of reaching out beyond their communities. Through engaging with nonprofits, students explore their leadership strengths and start to develop empathy for people who have different experiences. 
  • Should I continue documenting hours after I complete the requirement?

    • Yes, but once you’ve met the requirement you may put in the Director of the Center for Leadership as your supervisor. There is no need to have an outside supervisor sign off on them.
  • Why should I continue documenting hours after completing the requirement?

    • If we know what you’re doing, you can be a resource for other students as they look for volunteer opportunities in certain fields.
    • Students find it helpful to have hours recorded as it becomes a resource for them when applying for summer jobs, scholarships and college.
    • We really like knowing what our students are doing in the community. It gives us a more complete picture of the student and of service at St. Luke's School.

Announcements: Where You Can Help

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Community Service Downloads

  • Reflection Requirement
    As part of the community service requirement, students focus some of their service organization with a single organization or cause and write a short reflection on it.  Please click here for details.
St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.