Our curriculum includes: “involvement with the local community and concern for worldwide issues, which aid in discovering ability and a responsibility to make a difference in the world. Our students will participate in service and extra-curricular projects within the Greater Holland communities.” ~ BRPS Mission Statement
If you have contacts within the community or can help set up community service opportunities for our students, please call Michelle Byrne at 355-0055 ext. 160.
HOW TO FIND CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES:
- Watch the school news announcements and calendar.
- Talk to BRPS faculty and staff.
- Read this.
- Propose your own!
Community Service Fulfillment
Students are required to fulfill hours in one of two ways:
1. Independently. They work directly with an organization and fulfill their hours, fill out a CS slip from the CS board near the office, and continue finding ways to volunteer, based on their interest.
2. School-organized. Students sign up for activities through the school and/or take the CS elective that is offered. Hours are given through supervising teachers.
A maximum of 20 CS hours is given for any given volunteer experience.
**Transfer students will have adjusted requirements; depending on which year they start at Black River.
As a Black River student you may:
1. Volunteer for anyone where you do NOT get paid.
2. Volunteer with any organization where they are NOT requiring you to volunteer (those who require: Boy Scouts, National Honor Society, Juvenile Court, etc.) You may volunteer for them either individually or through the school-organized events, but you cannot use the hours for both organizations.
3. Create senior projects, independent studies during project term with approval, and/or service learning within the classroom or seminar and receive CS hours.
1. Organize your own experience
2. Volunteer with organizations that interest you
3. Make a difference in your Community
History of Community Service
In 1996 the founding board members, faculty, and families discussed the importance of community service and our school made a commitment for our students.
We officially began our community service program in January of 1998 by offering multiple volunteer opportunities as well as an elective. The school hired a director, called local organizations searching out needs, and took on our first “big” project through the United Way Volunteer Center. We folded 35,000 bags for the National Postal Workers’ Food Drive in three days! We’ve returned to this important task for six subsequent years.
We’ve established over fifty volunteer opportunities for our students since then and have begun to incorporate curriculum-based service learning within classrooms. For example, 20th Century Issue high school students studied poverty then worked with a soup kitchen and homeless shelter for the day. During project term, students learned about socioeconomic hardship, poverty levels, and the realities behind homelessness and had a 30-hour homeless experience where they collected cans to buy food, slept in cardboard boxes, and ate in two soup kitchens. We’ve also had multiple classes discuss historical events with local senior residents through interviewing and story telling.
Organizations we have volunteered for:
Center for Women in Transition
Community Action House
Harbor Health Facility
Outdoor Discovery Center
Community Kitchen In the Image
DeGraff Nature Center
Workers’ Food Drive
Holland Community Hospital
Boys & Girls Club
Habitat for Humanity
Herrick Public Library
Black River Public School
Ottawa County Mentoring Collaborative
Core City L.E.A.P.