As part of Pace Academy’s Isdell Center for Global Leadership (ICGL), the Community Engagement program connects students, faculty and families to global issues through the work of local nonprofit organizations, while promoting cultural awareness and appreciation and leadership skills.
In partnership with more than 35 nonprofits across Metro Atlanta, the Community Engagement program develops students’ cultural competencies, leadership skills and awareness of their responsibility as global citizens. It supports Pace’s mission “to create prepared, confident citizens of the world” through a variety of engagement experiences, curricular initiatives and student-leadership organizations.
In the Lower School, Pace students develop an understanding of community engagement through grade-level themes and partners. The Community Engagement program brings age-appropriate community partners to campus, coordinates service projects throughout the year, and facilitates curricular implementation for each grade’s community engagement theme. We work with the Noble Knights program, the Lower School Design Thinking, and Lower School faculty to support learning around empathy and innovation in connection to global issues.
THEMES BY GRADE
First Grade: Animals
Second Grade: Healthcare
Third Grade: Food
Fourth Grade: Homelessness & Housing
Fifth Grade: Education
In the Middle School, the Community Engagement program builds upon the understandings forged in the Lower School and provides students with opportunities to engage with local communities both at Pace and through off-campus experiences. With the focus on encouraging students' curiosity and discovery, we work with Middle School leadership, athletics and student clubs to develop hands-on learning experiences.
For Middle School students, we host bi-weekly tutoring sessions with local area elementary school students at La Amistad & Agape, and Pace provides bus transportation to these after school learning program sites. Every spring, Pace's Middle School students and faculty take part in Canstruction to explore the issue of food insecurity in Atlanta and collect thousands of pounds of food to benefit Meals onWheels Atlanta. Then, we conclude each school year in Middle School with Community Engagement Day, in which Middle School faculty and students visit community partner organizations across the area to engage directly in their work.
Students must complete 15 hours of service during their Middle School years and may submit documentation of their engagement hours here.
*Hours will not be given for which students receive certification from an external organization, for example, hours earned for a confirmation class or Scout badge.
Upper School Community Engagement
In the Upper School, Pace facilitates engagement and leadership experiences for students to follow their interest and grow their passion around community-based work. Students in grades nine through 12 have the opportunity to form or join community engagement clubs in partnership with local-area nonprofits to organize and attend in-person events, donation drives, and on-campus experiences.
Each student’s Upper School experience begins with Pace’s annual Ninth-Grade Community Engagement Day, where the freshmen Transitions classes fan out across Metro Atlanta to support the work of Pace’s community partners. Through the Community Engagement Club Fair, students can learn about each of our community clubs and connect with student clubs’ student leaders to participate in service events during the school year.
These clubs form the basis of Pace’s Community Engagement Council, which brings together club leaders to organize school-wide events and support learning in the Middle and Lower Schools. As many of these leaders enter their senior year, they may are able to apply to serve on the Community Engagement Board to develop strategy and facilitate new partnerships and initiatives.
We believe that community engagement is an integral part of a global citizenship and an essential part of each student’s education, growth and maturation. As such, we require that Upper School students complete 40 hours of service before graduating.
While we plan, organize and facilitate weekly opportunities for engagement, both on- and off-campus, students may gain engagement hours through their work with community organizations outside of Pace’s partners. Students submit documentation of their engagement hours through Mobileserve.
*Hours will not be given for activities for which students receive certification from an external organization, for example, hours earned for a confirmation class or Scout badge.
Upper School Community Engagement Partners
Angioma Alliance (Alliance to Cure Cavernous Malformation)
Miracle Knights (Miracle Network)
Pace Against ALS (ALS Association of Georgia)
How many hours do I need in the Middle School?
Students are required to complete 15 hours of volunteer engagement. Students may complete their hours at their own pace, although we suggest that students try to complete at least five hours each year.
How many hours do I need to graduate?
For students in grades nine through 12, the diploma requirement is 40 hours of service. Only service performed after the last day of eighth grade may count toward the diploma requirement. Seniors must complete all of their required service hours by the last day of senior exams. Consideration is given to students entering Pace Academy after ninth grade.
Do court-mandated hours count for community engagement hours?
Court-mandated hours do not count towards the graduation requirement.
Can I receive community engagement hours completed for credit from an external organization (i.e. Girl Scouts, Confirmation Class, etc.)?
Hours will not be given for services for which students receive credit from an external organization, for example, hours earned for a confirmation class or Scout badge.