Since its founding as a military academy, Morgan Park Academy’s community has held duty and honor as core values. While our school looks different today, our commitment to service has remained. Full-day service events and community service activities help students understand the important role they play in their communities, and give them the opportunity to give back in meaningful ways. This underscores the purpose of private schools serving a public purpose, and teaches all students the responsibility of privilege.
The Upper School Project Week sees a culmination of these ideals as faculty and students work together outside the school. The group dedicates itself to service, whether the projects revolve around conservation, sustainability, community justice, or international travel. Community service at Morgan Park Academy is hands-on, experiential, and a core part of learning for all grades.
The goal of Service Learning at Morgan Park Academy
is to provide opportunities for experiences that bring community-based organizations, Academy students, teachers, and families together in a common purpose for the betterment of the community and for the growth of the participating individuals. Past and on-going service learning efforts by students include:
- Volunteering to work for the Academy teachers as lab, library, and office assistants
- Reading to - and connecting with - children in the lower grades
- Waiting tables at the Pancake Breakfast during Homecoming
- Tutoring underprivileged students at the Burr Oak Academy School
- Organizing a toy drive every year, and delivering gifts to patients at a local hospital
- Stocking food items at the Morgan Park Food Pantry
- Helping eradicate invasive plant species, buckthorn, in the Dan Ryan Woods
- Making hundreds of bag lunches for an inner city church
- Collecting clothes and canned goods for the city’s needy
- Sorting thousands of donated shoes at Share Your Soles
- Building houses through Habitat for Humanity
It is believed that by serving the communities in which they live, students practice responsible behavior, broaden their awareness of the world, cultivate empathy, and bring enough energy, idealism, and initiative to truly have an impact.
Relay For Life is one way MPA students, families, faculty, and staff raise funds for cancer research (nearly $20,000 in the past two years) and celebrate, honor, and remember loved ones who have fought the disease. In addition to family fun, food and games, the titular relay features teams of walkers continuously lapping the track throughout the event. The MPA community also contributes through donations small and large. Our students and faculty coordinate a host of fundraisers leading up to the day of the event, including pledges, bake sales, car washes, and selling commemorative luminaria bags.