As a part of the Upper School Hunger and Homelessness elective, Matthew K. '26 worked closely with Dan Zauderer, founder of Grassroots Grocery, to organize a sandwich making activity at Calhoun.
Inspiring students to take action
Calhoun’s community service program is designed to inspire students to become active citizens within their communities, foster a better understanding of their responsibility to equity and social justice, and encourage a lifelong commitment to community engagement.
Community engagement and social justice are central to Calhoun’s philosophy, culture and curriculum. Students of all ages have the opportunity to be social advocates and activists. Students learn early on that they have the power to make change, and service learning sets the stage for them to take action. While students from every division participate in school-directed service learning projects and activities, Upper School students are required to complete a minimum of 60 hours of community service.
Calhoun has cultivated partnerships with a number of organizations across the city, giving students the opportunity to explore causes that speak to them.
Our goal is that engaging in one’s community starts at Calhoun and continues throughout a student’s life.
Debbie Aronson '79
Director of Community Service Learning
See examples of service organizations that Calhoun partners with
Umuganda Day was an awesome morning of community service. We had a record number of attendees this year – over 100! – a testament to how the Calhoun community comes together to make a difference in our city.
Throughout the 2021-22 school year, Calhoun students worked with CITYarts, a nonprofit public arts and education organization. During community events and workshops led by the US Students in Action Club, students of all ages, teachers and families have made Pieces for Peace, which depict each individual's vision of peace.
The Calhoun community gathered for the Cooper Stock Faculty Basketball Game and Cooper’s Troopers Day of Service in early June. The events were held in honor of Cooper Stock, a member of the Class of 2023 who was struck and killed by a taxi driver in 2014, to raise awareness about traffic safety.
The US Students in Action Club and the Students Teaching Students elective organized a special family volunteer day with Mott Haven Fridge, an organization that fights food insecurity.
Calhoun students have been volunteering at Homeward NYC, an organization that supports homeless youth, families and older adults, since its founding in 1989. Homeward NYC recently spotlighted its partnership with Calhoun and the different ways students have gotten involved.
Upper School students from the Community Action class volunteered at the Mott Haven Community Fridge warehouse in the Bronx.
The Middle School Taking Action on Climate Change class volunteered to clean up nearby Riverside Park.
Students in Calhoun's fifth grade leadership class worked with the Upper Schoolers to complete a painting project for Mott Haven Fridge, an organization that provides accessible, fresh food to communities around the Bronx.
Sixth graders participated in a Mutual Aid Project, experiential work that encapsulated Calhoun's progressive values and connected students to their community.