The Knox School prides itself on fostering learning communities that extend beyond the classroom walls and uses an array of character-building experiences that promote social-emotional development and leadership skills.
Our character education offerings – rooted in the Knox Core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, Kindness, and Scholarship – established the foundation for students to become positive contributors to their communities, both locally and globally, and prepare them for success well beyond high school graduation.
Service Learning Requirement
Service learning is a unique form of experiential learning that allows students to go out into the community, learn from and help community partners, and reflect on their beneficial experiences. At Knox, each Upper School student is required to participate in Service Learning at several different grade levels.
Past Service Learning Projects
The Memory Project is a nonprofit organization that invites students to create portraits for youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, and extreme poverty.
In the spring, students complete a fundraising project and then order their photos. They then create portraits for kids around the world. They worked on portraits of students from Guatemala this past year. These portraits can be done in many mediums; pen and ink, charcoal, pencil, water colors, paints, etc.
This project has been part of Knox for the last four years. General Needs is a non-profit organization that services homeless veterans in the northeast quadrant of the United States. General Needs is just that, they provide the general needs of our forgotten homeless veterans from toiletries to coats and boots to starter kits for a new apartment. Everything they give to the veterans is brand new. They believe that these veterans deserve new supplies. Knox has hosted several fundraisers and sock drives for this group. Last year they donated 30 jumbo bags of toiletries for the veterans. This year they raised over $350, and 90 pairs of socks. Not only do students raise money, but they also serve by going on field trips to their storage facilities at Westies in East Northport where they wrap Christmas presents for the veterans for the holidays. They pack trucks with boxes of boots for their 1363 Boots on the Ground project. Making a difference one veteran at a time.
This project has been part of Knox for over four years now. Students support the Island Harvest Food Bank by hosting food drives during Fall Family Weekend. Students have generated over 300 pounds of donated food and over $400 cash each year. Not only do they serve their local community this way, but they also take field trips two to four times a year at both the Island Harvest Food Bank Warehouse and their Healthy Harvest Farm to work in the fields where they grow fresh produce for their food bank. Students work in assembly lines and package boxes of food for Thanksgiving dinners, and boxes of socks. At the farm, they helped plant over 750 cherry tomato seedlings last spring in their greenhouse. This fall they weeded winter crops and harvested 35 pounds of green beans and packaged them for individual families for the food bank. Students are learning farming skills while making a difference one family at a time.
This project has been part of Knox for over four years now. Pre-covid, students would visit a nursing home and sing Christmas songs to the senior citizens. They would also make homemade ornaments and cards to pass out to each resident. Since covid, restrictions have been placed on visitors to these homes. Instead, students continue to make homemade ornaments and cards and the Service Learning Coordinator does a drop-off. The nursing home is grateful for the dedication and support Knox has continued to provide to many of the forgotten aging residents.
In recent years of Puerto Rico and Florida were ravaged by hurricanes. Student groups quickly formed fundraisers to offer relief for the victims of these natural disasters. Students raised over $450 for this project.
This year students decided to host several fundraisers to support our local community to purchase a student keyboard. Many talented students at Knox are often found playing the pianos around campus. While this is wonderful, there is a need for more equipment to allow talent to grow. The students saw this as an opportunity to support our own school. They were able to raise over $800 and purchase a new keyboard, stand, and foot pedal for current and future Knoxies to enjoy.
One project service learning has completed in 2021, was to adopt 5 families for Christmas and purchase clothes and toys for these families. Students held fundraisers and raised $650 for this project. This supported the Port Jefferson School District program.
One the annual Heifer Farms trip, students will be learning about worldwide hunger issues and sustainability. On this trip, topics include learning about populations throughout the world, learning about extreme poverty and resourcefulness of people living in impoverished conditions, farming, and more. Students even learned how to prepare and cook food on an open fire.
This project has been part of Knox for the last two years. Students volunteer to work with the Nesconset Fire Department and work as puppeteers for their annual Fire Awareness Festival. Students work with all firefighter puppets and put on shows for a crowd of up to 50 small children emphasizing fire safety.
This project has been part of Knox for the last two years. This project’s theme is “inclusivity”. Knox students learned a Christmas medley of 5 songs and learned how to do them in an Interpretive American Sign Language. We then participated in the Dickens Festival Parade in Port Jefferson where we marched and sang and signed for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Are you a local non-profit or charitable organization that would like to build a mutually beneficial partnership with students from our Service Learning class?
Please email our Community & Service Learning Coordinator, Mrs. Susan Layton at email@example.com.
Knox Students harvesting vegetables for local food pantries
At Knox, we support veterans in need
Partnering with the Nesconset Fire Department to teach children on Fire Prevention Day
Students prepare packages of donated boots, socks and Homegoods for veterans who are rejoining society after their service
All of our students love collecting goods for local families in need