Faith Formation does not stop at the threshold of the classroom door. Rather, the Gospel calls us to the values of compassion and service to those in need. In order to reinforce this value, each student is required to perform 25 hours of Christian service annually. Service opportunities are plentiful in the greater Jacksonville area.
Service Learning Reflection Essay:
Students will be expected to complete a Service Learning Reflection Essay assigned by their Religion teacher, on the impact their service experience had on them and on the community/individuals they helped. Students will utilize the teachings of the Religion course curriculum to reflect on their service.
Christian Service: General Principals and Guidelines
When seeking service opportunities, students are encouraged to first begin with their own parish or Church community. Additionally, students may earn service hours at non-profit (501 C-3) organizations or agencies whose mission and values do not contradict Catholic social values.
Projects or activities that do not meet the listed criteria, either in whole or in part, should not be assumed to fulfill the school requirement.
Providing ordinary assistance to a teacher when asked during the school day or attending club meetings are encouraged but will not be considered a fulfillment of the service requirement.
Assisting family members with obligations and chores such as mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, cleaning the garage, painting the house, and babysitting are praiseworthy activities but do not fulfill the Christian Service requirement.
Any service provided for a family owned and operated business is indeed praiseworthy but does NOT meet the criteria for Christian Service.
Students who participate in mission trips or other service trips may include only their working hours, not to exceed eight hours per day. Time spent traveling, eating, sleeping, etc. is not to be recorded.
Students may not earn Christian Service hours for a project for which they are paid, receive tips, or for which they are raising money for another function, trip, or event.
When in doubt about the suitability of a service opportunity, and in order to prevent unnecessary misinterpretations or frustrations, students are encouraged to FIRST review the Pre-Approved Service Opportunity List provided below.
Pre-Approved Service Opportunities List
• Vacation Bible School
• Classroom Aid/Assistant for Parish School of Religion
• Direct service to parish
• Eucharistic Congress
• Camp Counselor (including BKHS sport camps)
• Volunteer tutoring for the school
• Volunteering for a school affiliated after school day care program
• Working behind the scenes for a school program/function/athletic event
• Local public library
• Soup kitchen
• Food pantry/clothing closet
• Beach/Road/Park clean-up
• Special Olympics
• Camp I Am Special / Camp Promise / Camp Care
Sample Ideas for Christian Service Hours:
- Talking, playing games, or playing instruments for those in a nursing home.
- Serve food to the homeless at a soup kitchen. Make and deliver food to the homes of needy families.
- Assisting to construct homes for the needy with Habitat for Humanity.
- Distributing clothing to the needy at a shelter or with non-profit organization.
- Cooking for those who are grieving a loss, delivering it, and comforting them.
- Serving a disabled elderly person: by doing their yard work, cleaning, or shopping for them.
- Assisting with teaching Parish Religious Education at a parish church.
- Assisting at Children's Bible camp or Vacation Bible School.
- Peaceful, prayer protest in front of an abortion clinic.
All students must complete a minimum of 25 hours of Christian Service each year they attend Bishop Kenny High School. Students who complete in excess of 100 hours receive special recognition at the annual award ceremony. Additionally, community civic organizations may offer scholarships based on a student’s service record. Christian Service hours are noted on the official transcript of Bishop Kenny High School. All service hours must be documented as volunteer and completed outside of class hours, unless it is a school sponsored event. The verification of service MUST be validated by an official representative of the organization where the service is performed. This is done through Mobile Serve.
Each year, the time frame for performing Christian Service will be June 1 through the LAST DAY OF THE THIRD QUARTER. Students have until Monday after Labor Day to submit hours for approval toward their Christian service requirement.
All verified and recorded service hours appear on the FACTS Family Portal and the quarterly report cards. Parents are asked to monitor their child's progress regularly in order to avoid any penalties for failure to comply with school policy.
Hours earned during the fourth quarter will be applied to the current academic year.
Service hours will be adjusted on a sliding scale to accommodate transfer students. For example, transfer students who enroll at the start of the second semester are expected to complete 1⁄2 of the annual requirement or at least 12 1⁄2hours.
Volunteering that does NOT qualify as Christian Service:
- For-Profit organizations
- Volunteering at a business owned by a parent or where a family member is employed.
- Honor Society Hours/ Pep rally set-up/ fund-raising activity for a club
- Some organizations and foundations, though non-profit, will not be accepted if they support anti-life agendas or other causes which are contrary to our Catholic beliefs and values. Examples (not a complete list): Susan B. Komen Foundation, March of Dimes, Planned Parenthood.
Consequences for Failure to Complete Service Requirement:
• Caps and gowns will NOT be issued until requirement is satisfied
• Loss of opportunity to exempt senior exam
How to Report Service Hours:
MobileServe has been adopted as the online platform for creating and verifying service logs. The link below provides training on the easy-to-use platform. Questions related to the Christian service requirement should be directed first to your religion teacher.