Concern for others, one of the school’s paramount values, must by its very nature be voluntary. We strongly encourage students to participate in school-wide, class-by-class, and individual service programs, and the overwhelming majority of students do so. Each class selects student community service representatives who, with help from faculty and staff, coordinate service projects for the year. Each year, Class VI boys make regular visits to St. Theresa’s School down the hill to interact with preschoolers. In 2021, the class also participated in Boston’s Winter Walk, raising dollars and awareness in support of the homeless. Class V boys support hunger initiatives by working at a local food bank and participating in the Walk for Hunger, to raise money for Project Bread. Class IV visits the elderly at the Deutsches Altenheim twice a month, collaborating on special, seasonal projects for residents throughout the year. Class III boys work at Haley House, an organization serving the homeless and low-income residents of Boston. Each month, the boys plan, shop for food, cook, and serve a Sunday lunch for elderly guests. They also sell holiday pies to benefit the Haley House Food Pantry. Members of Class II devote many hours to the students at Epiphany School in Dorchester, where they prepare and serve dinner to the students. Six Saturday mornings throughout the school year, seniors prepared and served breakfast for the residents of Pine Street Inn residential shelter in Jamaica Plain. Also, through the school’s Ave Atque Vale Society, boys in the senior class serve as pallbearers at graveside services for homeless or indigent men and women who have no family to bury them. Roxbury Latin boys have assisted at nearly 100 funerals over recent years.
In addition to these class projects, several all-school projects take place each year. Last year the entire school community works together in fundraising initiatives to benefit Medicines for Humanity. We also raise money to provide an orphan scholarship at Maru-a-Pula School in Botswana. The RL chapter of Habitat for Humanity helps build homes for Boston families on several weekends throughout the year. Students recently participated in an all-school build-a-bed project through A Bed for Every Child, assembling 76 beds for children in need throughout Massachusetts. Each year, Technology Tutoring brings senior citizens into the school’s computer lab for weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions with student volunteers, who helped introduce them to the wonders of the Internet. Each varsity athletic team also commits to a day of service relevant to a given sport.
In the fall, Classes V and VI spend a day in service in Boston communities. Class V boys, accompanied by parent volunteers, do trail maintenance at Hale Reservation while Class VI boys volunteer with Historic Boston Cemeteries to tend RL founder John Eliot’s gravesite and to rake leaves at the Eliot Graveyard in Roxbury.
During the year, students organize food drives, clothing drives, and holiday toy drives. In addition to these structured, school-sponsored programs, many boys participate in service activities through their churches, synagogues, and community organizations. We also offer a number of in-house service opportunities: Many older boys tutor younger boys through our extensive tutoring program, and most boys serve as admission tour guides throughout the year. Almost all members of Class I serve as big brothers to new boys, and many members of the senior class choose service work for their four-week Independent Senior Projects. All are expected to lend a hand when called on in the course of the school year.