The second ‘S’ in ACCESS stands for “Service to the community and society, with tolerance and wisdom.” ACCESS has a voluntary community service program for all students who wish to participate. The program’s mission is to inspire students to see themselves as part of a broader community –– both at home and internationally –– and to help students learn and think about many social issues, such as homelessness, hunger, animal welfare, social justice, ecology, international issues, and disaster relief. The program seeks to encourage ACCESS students to become leaders in community service, both during and outside of school.
Students who participate in the program volunteer with community, religious or other non-profit organizations, and on independent projects. Students who lend their talent, energy, and time to service learn that they can take action to solve real problems locally and around the globe.
The program requires completion of a certain number of volunteer hours for each month from October to May. The number of hours varies depending on the student’s grade in school. Students who complete their hours by the end of May will be recognized at the end of the school year.
How to Sign Up
It’s easy. Simply email the student’s name and grade, and your name, to Catherine Beckett at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1. Those who sign up will receive a form to use to keep track of volunteer hours. I will keep a list of participating students, and will then send a request for completed tracking sheets out to those families in May.
If you have any questions, comments, feedback, or service ideas, please contact access.pta.communityservice@
Students can volunteer for or raise money for whatever causes they care about, as long as it helps somebody in need (or helps an organization that helps those in need). They can do the same activity all year, or many different activities.
Examples of past student activities include:
- Repacked food at the Oregon Food Bank
- Helped at the Oregon Humane Society
- Performed music and read at a nursing home
- Served meals at a church
- Organized a fundraiser for climate education
- Helped feed homeless people
- Packed books for the Book Banko Planted trees and pulled ivy
- Cleaned litter in a park
- Volunteered at a library
- Mentored preschoolers
Need ideas? The Hands On Portland calendar lists hundreds of activities, many of which are appropriate for kids. http://www.handsonportland.org/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Calendar_Page
If you know of or discover opportunities you think other ACCESS students and families would enjoy, please help us by spreading the word about them. Students often enjoy working with peers to complete their hours.
Students do not have to volunteer the same number of hours each month—they just need to complete the expected total hours by the end of May. Your student may count up to 6 of her/his volunteer hours from activities completed during the past summer.
1st and 2nd grade 3rd, 4th and 5th grade 6th and 7th grade
1 hour per month or 8 hours total
2 hours per month or 16 hours total 3 hours per month or 24 hours total
Email the completed tracking sheet (when requested) at the end of May to