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. In 2018-2019 Class VI boys made regular visits to St. Theresa’s School down the hill to interact with preschoolers. Class V boys supported hunger initiatives by working at a local food bank and participating in the Walk for Hunger, raising more than $9,600. Class IV visited the elderly at the Deutsches Altenheim twice a month. Class III boys worked at Haley House, an organization serving the homeless and low-income residents of Boston. Each month, the boys planned, shopped for food, cooked, and served a Sunday lunch for elderly guests. They also sold holiday pies to benefit the Haley House Food Pantry. Members of Class II devoted many hours to the students at Epiphany School in Dorchester, where they prepared and served dinner to the students. Six Saturday mornings throughout the school year, seniors prepared and served breakfast for the residents of a residential shelter in Roxbury. 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. Virtually every boy in the Class of 2019 chose to participate.
In addition to these class projects, several all-school projects take place each year. Last year the entire school community worked together in fundraising initiatives to benefit Medicines for Humanity. We also raised money to provide an orphan scholarship at Maru-a-Pula School in Botswana. The RL chapter of Habitat for Humanity helped build homes for Boston families. For the ninth consecutive year, Technology Tutoring brought 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 spent a day in service in Boston communities. Class V boys, accompanied by parent volunteers, did trail maintenance at Hale Reservation while Class VI boys volunteered 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 have organized 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 more than 100 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.