At Sun Valley Community School, we believe being of service to your school and your community is an essential component of leading an impactful, purposeful life.
Students across the school’s three divisions—individually and with their classes—dedicate time throughout the year to help people and organizations in the Wood River Valley and beyond, learning the reward in helping others and embracing their ability to effect positive change.
Click HERE for available Service Learning opportunities and help make a difference!
Upper and Middle School students may track their service hours to earn year-end Community Service Awards.
25 Hours: Bronze
35 Hours: Silver
50 Hours: Gold
100+ Hours: Platinum
A Proud History of Service
Since our founding, Sun Valley Community School has been committed to service learning. Initially introduced as a school spirit activity, community service efforts have evolved over the years to become an integral piece of student life. In the school’s early years, one service credit was required for graduation, which could be achieved by “assisting faculty, tutoring, or volunteering;” later, 80 hours or more of community service qualified a student for one elective credit toward graduation. Today, regular class-wide service learning experiences and individual student-led efforts define our commitment to service. Students may track their community service hours to earn year-end Community Service Awards.
Through a partnership with WOW-students, a local program created to introduce youth to service experiences, Elementary School students visit local nonprofit organizations to learn and serve. Elementary teachers incorporate the service projects into their curriculums to create a more impactful and lasting experience for students.
Additionally, the Elementary School's annual Read-A-Thon traditionally raises $10-20K for local nonprofits.
Middle School students volunteer for a community organization at least once during the school year and have the opportunity to participate in a weekend-long, service-learning trip to Boise that focuses on the homeless population.
All Middle School students participate in a Fall and Spring Community Service Day, volunteering at local nonprofits throughout the valley.
In addition to serving our community on their own at least once a year, Upper School students can choose to delve into service at a deeper level. From becoming Compassionate Leaders with the local Flourish Foundation or Every Teen Counts interns at The Advocates, to designing their own fundraisers for causes about which they are passionate, students become leaders in service. Each year a group of students participates in The Youth Philanthropy Initiative through WOW-students, choosing how to grant $5000 to local nonprofits that apply.
In addition, ninth grade students spend a week in Salt Lake City, Utah on a dedicated community service learning experience that helps them to understand the root causes of homelessness and the experience of refugees in our country.
Students have the option to participate in a Service Learning trip to Portland, Oregon in the winter where they serve the homeless population with the support of an organization called Because People Matter.
The Community Table, or La Mesa Comunitaria, is a new initiative launched in 2021 led by students from our school as well as Wood River High School and a home school. Born from the isolation people felt during COVID and the closing of one of the valley's soup kitchens, students developed a vision is to build bridges between people in our valley by providing meals, joy, resources, and a sense of community to those in need.
We have been hosting neighborhood barbecues with activities for children and resources for adults. Students of all ages and families are welcome to volunteer in this grassroots, community endeavor.
-Calysta Phillips, Service Learning + Community Connections Coordinator