Service & Outreach

Community Service Program

Purpose:
The program is designed to sensitize students to the needs of others in their communities—especially children, the elderly, the disadvantaged, the poor, and the handicapped. Through their volunteer efforts, students will have to opportunity to spiritually mature as they learn that serving others is at the heart of the Gospel. By serving others, we emulate Christ, whose own ministry was one of service to others. Performing community service is central to our school’s mission, and it contributes to the student’s formation as the Faithful Man.

Requirements:
All grade levels are required to do 20 hours for the year. Five hours are due each quarter. You may do more than the minimum for any quarter. Any hours over the requirement for a given marking period will be applied to the next marking period(s). Any hours done during the school year will count for that school year only. You may include service hours done over the preceding summer, starting with the day after the last day of school. All students must have completed a 4-year total of 80 hours of service by the fourth quarter deadline of their senior year (transfer students will be pro-rated). Failure to meet your yearly requirements on all grade levels will result in the loss of the following privileges: dances, dress-down days, Pride Week activities, and Catholic Schools Week activities. Seniors who do not have a cumulative total of 80 hours of service with not receive their cap and gown, and they will not be allowed to attend the prom until their hours are complete.

Grading System:
Community service hours are a graduation requirement. They will count as 10% of your Theology class grade. There is a five-point deduction for each school day that paperwork is late. Falsified hours receive a zero.

Documenting Your Hours:
All students must submit a signed Policies Agreement Form (see last page). Students should fill out a separate Documentation Form for each organization they serve. Multiple dates/times done at one site should be put on the same form. Paperwork must be neat and legible. Students may not sign off on anyone’s service hours. If you have a letter from your organization, you still have to fill out the front side of the Documentation Form. Letters must be signed, on the organization’s letterhead, have its seal, or be accompanied by a business card.

Completed forms are to be given to your Theology teacher. Deadlines for all paperwork are as follows:

Summer 2019 Service Hours:  Friday, September 27

Documentation for service hours done during the summer will not be accepted after this time. There is no legitimate reason for summer hours to be submitted past this deadline.

Policies Agreement Form:  Friday, September 20, 2019

A failure to submit this form will result in an Incomplete on your report card until the form is turned in.

1st Marking Period:  Thursday, October 24, 2019 (all grade levels)
2nd Marking Period:  Thursday, January 9, 2020 (all grade levels)
3rd Marking Period:  Thursday, March 12, 2020 (all grade levels)
4th Marking Period:  Thursday, June 4, 2020 / SENIORS: Thursday, April 23, 2020

Students must provide a supervisor e-mail address that is readily identifiable as one coming from an established organization, such as the e-mail address he or she uses at the agency where or through which you did your service. A supervisor’s private e-mail address should not be used. For example, an e-mail address like name@valleyhospital.org or name@montvaleboro.org or teachername@sjrnj.org is acceptable whereas something like numbers@gmail.com or nickname@yahoo.com is not acceptable. In those rare instances when your supervisor does not have an e-mail address at his/her organization (for example, an adult volunteer at your parish), see your Theology teacher about it before submitting documentation.

On your Documentation Form, fill in ALL of the requested information. Do not leave spaces blank. More information is always better than less. Don’t assume your teacher knows the details for an event you simply list as “tournament” or “5K run” or “food drive.” What kind of tournament was it and what age levels were involved? For what charity was the 5K run done? For what agency was the food drive conducted? Incomplete forms will delay the processing of your submission, and if you miss a deadline because your forms are not filled out properly, you are responsible. Provide sufficient information for us to process your paperwork.

Qualifying Service:

All projects must benefit people, not animals. The projects must be above and beyond a student’s (a) family responsibilities, both immediate (father, mother, sister, brother) and extended (grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles) and (b) responsibilities as a member of a school or community group (e.g., National Honor Society, Student Government, sports programs). Students may complete no more than five hours doing service projects that directly benefit our school - what we call “in house” hours. You may not be absent from school or leave school early to do service hours, unless you are participating in a project we sponsor. If there is any doubt about the kind of service that qualifies, the student should see his Theology teacher before doing a project. Students who do an Eagle Scout Project or who work at the Marist summer camp at Esopus will not have to do additional hours for St. Joe’s, but they still must submit documentation for their service. If you volunteer to coach children, the league or organization must be non-profit. A privately owned one does not count.
 

Non-Qualifying Service:

The following types of work do not count as service hours:  SJR’s summer camp programs; any work for which you receive payment or remuneration; helping any for-profit business (even doctors, unless they are sponsoring a free clinic or charitable event); coaching anyone enrolled in a for-profit agency (local recreation leagues are okay); tutoring or mentoring; child care for a relative or neighbor (e.g., babysitting); helping political organizations (unless they are sponsoring a charitable event that helps the whole community); helping neighbors with any work they can do themselves and/or afford to pay someone to do it; helping a relative “at the office”; and helping students older than 6th grade. For the handicapped, any grade level is acceptable. Your service must benefit the community at large, the elderly, the poor, the handicapped, children, or disadvantaged people. Doing something “for free” does not automatically qualify it as community service. It is your responsibility to know what kind of service counts. When in doubt, ask.

Students are granted the opportunity to serve the eldest of their communities. Groups of students travel to area nursing homes and assisted living centers to engage senior citizens and bring more energy to their retired, leisurely lifestyles, especially combating the underserved needs of the elderly. The program's aim is to build bridges between the generations as they both learn from each other while building new friendships.

The program runs on the 1st Monday (Dcn. Sisco) and 3rd Tuesday (Mr. LoGiudice) of each month.

Every January, St. Joe's students travel down to our nation's capital to join their voices with tens of thousands of other pro-life aligned groups. Read more about last year's experience printed in the Catholic Advocate here.
Each year, after everyone else leaves for Christmas break, the chorus sticks behind to go caroling to nearby assisted living homes and an early education center. The event is usually a hit with spreading joy and cheer for all to hear. Read about it in the latest issue of NJ Catholic.
Thank you for all your help to provide more than 100 turkeys and 5,000 pounds of food items to the Office of Concern in Englewood, NJ and People to People in Nanuet, NY.
Once again, St. Joe’s students have responded to a problem in our society: 4.2 million teens will face homeless this year. In response to this issue, St. Joe’s students have overwhelmingly stepped up to sleep out for one night at the school, experiencing a little of what it is like to be homeless while also bringing awareness and raising money for Covenant House in their efforts to serve homeless teens. After both events (because it's the biggest student sleep out in the country!) we had 242 students and over $91,000 raised for Covenant House.
 
At the Sleep Out events, the students had the chance to hear from current and former residents of Covenant House and learn more about the organization. As part of the immersion, the students also attended classes the next day since their peers on the streets must do the same, every day. Please read more about last year's experience in the Guardian.
Thank you again to those who helped donate to our Candy Drive. We were able to make 1,000 candy baggies for St. Benedict's in Newark and St. Anthony's in Nanuet, NY to make their Halloween parties a bit sweeter! We also sent some candy down to the Veterans Memorial Home in Paramus so the residents had some candy to share with any trick-or-treaters for the holiday.