Portsmouth Abbey students engage in a wide range of community service activities, both within and outside of the local community. Our students work with local agencies such as My Brother's Keeper and the East Bay Food Pantry, and non-profit organizations such as Red Cross, Saint Vincent de Paul, Star Kids Scholarship Program, Save the Bay, Norman Bird Sanctuary, and Green Animals. Students also continue many active connections in service in their home communities or through off-campus trips.
During the fall and spring terms, the school offers Service Internships as one option for students to complete their afternoon obligation. Internships include a range of types of service, to give students a range of experiences to discover local needs as well as their own talents. Students are engaged five days per week in the Internship program, should they select it as their afternoon program. Current programming is modeled after service learning, and includes educational and formational opportunities for understanding and developing commitment to service with, and justice for, marginalized populations. Internships involve assisting My Brother’s Keeper in delivery of furniture, assisting East Bay Food Pantry and Saint Vincent de Paul in areas of food insecurity, and land restoration and cleanup with the Norman Bird Sanctuary, Green Animals, and Save the Bay. In conjunction with the Director of Community Service, some service interns also develop their own service projects, which have included virtual projects like online tutoring with middle and grade school children, language education with adults, and virtual visits with elderly persons.
Some Portsmouth Abbey courses include a service learning component. As a result, many students engage in community service as one part of their academic coursework. Service learning is defined as “a teaching and learning strategy that integrates community service with course work and reflection to enrich the learning experience, foster civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.”