Founded in 1999, Service First is a daylong community service event for new students to volunteer with public schools.
Save the Date! Service First will be held August 31, 2014
Each year, on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, over 1,100 students, staff and faculty volunteer with public schools in St. Louis city, University City and KIPP: Inspire Academy to help brighten schools for children. At the conclusion of the service projects, a Community Service Fair is offered on the South 40, featuring all Washington University in St. Louis student-run community service groups.
Service First sends approximately 100
students to each of 13 schools, and all projects are developed in
collaboration with principals and their staffs. Projects include
painting indoor and outdoor murals, painting activities and maps on the
playground, creating bulletin boards, and preparing classrooms.
New Student Sign-Ups
Sign up with your RA or WUSA during August orientation.
Volunteer Roles for Upperclass Students, Staff & Faculty
We rely on hundreds of volunteers to help us plan and implement Service First for the freshman class. Sign-up online to volunteer for our Summer Work Days, Supply Day, or at a school. Upperclass RAs and First Year Execs may also use this form to sign up for their event shifts.
SUMMER WORK DAYS
Three dates in June and July when volunteers move, organize and pack supplies for our 13 schools. Most work requires lifting boxes. We request that volunteers make a three to four hour commitment, but we welcome any time that you can give! Please note that Summer Work Days will take place off-campus at the MySci Resource Center, 6601 Vernon in University City. Carpools will be arranged as needed.
- Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 8:30am-Noon (morning shift)
- Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 1-5pm (afternoon shift)
- Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 1-5pm
- Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 1-5pm
One day in the fall when we load cars with packed supplies for schools and move other supplies to storage. All work requires lifting and carrying boxes. Sign up for one hour or more as your schedule allows! Please note that Supply Day will take place off-campus at the MySci Resource Center, 6601 Vernon in University City. Carpools will be arranged as needed.
- Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 1-3pm
On the day of Service First, you’ll be assigned to one of our 13 schools along with 8-12 other Project Managers to assist the School Coordinator (WU staff or faculty) in leading the day, overseeing projects and supporting about 100 new student volunteers.
- Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 10am-6pm (start time varies slightly by school)
Important Notes for Project Managers:
- Service First is during Labor Day Weekend.
- A Project Manager orientation will be held Monday, August 26, 2013, 3-4pm. Please hold the date in your calendar if you sign up to be a Project Manager.
- Project Manager assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Once all slots are filled, you will be placed on a wait list and notified via email.
- If you are an RA or WUSA, you will already have Service First responsibilities with your floor or assisting on campus, so you may not serve as a Project Manager.
Service First Policy on School Selection
The process of identifying Service First schools is vital to building a successful event for both schools and volunteers. The list of possible schools is developed in November and December each year, and prospective schools are notified in January or February. See a list of past schools participating in Service First.
The following principles guide our identification of potential schools.
- Maintain commitment to St. Louis Public Schools as primary and priority partner with Service First
- Prioritize schools in distressed communities
- Confirm principal commitment to working with Service First
- Assure ample and appropriate projects for 60-90 volunteers
- Limit school participation to a maximum of two consecutive years, and only at the discretion of the Service First chairs
- Invite recommendations of schools that fit the above criteria
For more information about Service First or if you would like to recommend a school for future consideration, please contact Stephanie Kurtzman.
View and share Service First photos on the Community Service Office Facebook page