Open community service meetings aim to inform, involve students in volunteering


Marci Bahr

The Community Service Board, SAC and other students prepare to volunteer with Be A Resource for CPS Kids (BEAR) during the holiday season. The Community Service Board hopes to promote similar projects and events through the open meetings.

Mehak Batra, Assistant Business Manager

By the time the final speaker took the Chao Room stage, 16 community service project leaders had already introduced their projects. With over 60 projects, the Community Service Board decided to reinstate the tradition of having monthly open meetings, the first of which was held on Tuesday, March 20.

During the Da Vinci meeting, the project leaders presented unique service projects and upcoming events like Special Olympics, a screening of “Bending the Arc,” Challenger Baseball and Nehemiah Game Night. During lunch the same day, the Community Service Board held a similar meeting to provide insight on how weekly Community Service Board meetings are run behind closed doors.

“I really enjoyed the meeting. It’s an amazing way for students who aren’t community service officers to learn more about the behind-the-scenes of community service, and it allows for them to learn about special opportunities that aren’t as publicly advertised,” junior Elizabeth McNeely said. “It was very informative, and I will definitely be going again.”

Before the schedule changed, the Community Service Board used these meetings to introduce new and ongoing community service projects and activities. The Board now finds it challenging to schedule meeting times because of the large amount of activities during Da Vinci and the short amount of time allotted for lunch.

Even so, the open community service meetings have the same goals as the previous meetings: to update on projects, to advertise community service events and to discuss what the Board does on a weekly basis.

“People have trouble locating when activities are coming up and where the calendar is, so we want to inform them of that,” sophomore Community Service Officer Jacqueline Heal said. “It’s also an opportunity to spark interest in applying for the Community Service Board, to see what it’s exactly like because before [people] were unaware [of] what happened in those meetings.”

According to Marci Bahr, the Upper School Community Service Coordinator, the amount of volunteers and community service projects has grown every year, increasing the need to improve communication between students and project leaders.

“We want to give the opportunity to leaders to talk about their projects and to get a wider audience for these projects,” Bahr said. “We have so many [projects] going on, and the more people that we can get involved, the better.”