Saturday, November 28 , 2015, 10:50 am | Fair 60º

Philia Project Teaches Providence Students Lessons on Community Service

By Elaine Rottman for Providence |

The Providence Upper School (7-12) community, teachers and students alike will dedicate this Thursday morning to learning about and performing community service.

"Service is an important component of our school's mission," said David O'Neil, head of the Upper school. "That is why we dedicate two days of the school year to going out into the Santa Barbara community to serve our neighbors."

These community service events are called the Philia Project, and they are held in the fall and the spring.

"Philia is one of four Greek words for love and this project allows students to demonstrate both their love for their school and for their community," Philia Project director Becca Gill said. "We want our students to have exposure to a variety of places in the community where they might choose to return and serve again on their own."

This spring's project day has both on-campus and off-campus components. Among the projects:

» Foodbank of Santa Barbara County — sorting and stocking food items

» Goleta Valley Beautiful — preparing trees to be planted on the Cabrillo Growing Grounds

» Santa Barbara Community Farm — harvesting vegetables and other farm chores

» Isla Vista Youth Projects — music, art, and other activities with children

» Storytellers — reading and other activities with children

» Garden Court — activities with residents of this senior-citizen community

» The Poverty Cure — seniors will investigate the causes and cures for poverty and Skype with experts in third world economic development

» The Ufizzi Order — seventh- and eighth-grade students will learn from a representative of this organization dedicated to developing understanding and awareness of homelessness in Santa Barbara and appropriate ways to respond

Providence is a Christian, independent school serving grades K-12.

— Elaine Rottman is the director of advancement for Providence.

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