Community Service

Community service is a critical component of the IDEA education, and instills the value of service to others in our students. Community service is required for all students at IDEA, every year, and students must have served for 100 hours in order to graduate. It is our hope that the experience of serving others in a variety of ways will strengthen students’ character, promote empathy, build leadership skills, and establish in our students an understanding of how to serve and the desire to serve beyond high school and for the rest of their lives.

To be considered community service, an activity must be:

  • Performed for no pay
  • Completed at a nonprofit institution, church, school, community center, library, hospital or other service-related organization
  • Beneficial to at least one other person and the larger community
  • Separate from a service activity for which the student is already receiving school credit or those mandated by a court or school disciplinary action.

Examples of activities that meet the community service definition include (but are not limited to):

  • Working as a teacher’s aide or office assistant
  • Shelving books in the library
  • Working in any capacity at a nonprofit organization
  • Cleaning up the school on a Saturday
  • Tutoring younger children
  • Organizing a drive for the collection of items including clothes, shoes, food, blankets, etc., for the benefit of those in need
  • Reading to the elderly in nursing homes
  • Restoring a park
  • Volunteering at one’s church
  • Helping at a local fire or police department
  • Sorting food at a food bank
  • Serving meals at a homeless shelter
  • Volunteering as a peer tutor

Please refer to the graduation requirements for specific community service requirements at IDEA. Specifically for promotion:

  • To be promoted out of 9thgrade, students must have completed 25 hours.
  • To be promoted out of 10thgrade, students must have completed 50 hours.
  • To be promoted out of 11thgrade, students must have completed 75 hours.
  • Students must complete 100 hours by May 15 of their graduation year.

Community Service Opportunities

There are so many fantastic volunteer experiences available in and around DC. It’s easy to get involved in a cause you care about, or learn about something new. Here are a variety of resources to help you find great volunteer opportunities to fulfill your community service hours and to feel good about what you’re doing to help.

Volunteer Match VolunteerMatch strengthens communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. The organization offers a variety of online services to support a community of nonprofit, volunteer and business leaders committed to civic engagement.

American Red Cross The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Its network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world.

Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC works to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness in the nation’s capital by building affordable, energy- and resource-efficient homes for people in need.

So Others Might Eat So Others Might Eat is the only interfaith, community-based organization in the District of Columbia that offers a comprehensive, holistic approach to caring for the homeless and extremely poor citizens of our city.

DC Central Kitchen DC Central Kitchen is America’s leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise.

Check back for more organizations soon!