Instilling the lifelong value of service has long been a hallmark of a Shady Side Academy education. Students in grades PK-12 engage in service projects throughout the year that reach beyond our campuses to the greater Pittsburgh region and around the world.
SSA MLK DayS of Service
A tradition since 2011, Shady Side Academy honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of serving others through the annual SSA MLK Days of Service each January. Throughout the month, students learn about Dr. King's life and legacy, engage in service learning activities in assemblies and during advisory/homeroom periods, and participate in campus service drives. SSA also offers students and families opportunities to get off campus serve others in the Pittsburgh community.
Year-Round Service Efforts
Country Day School
Each grade at Country Day School participates in an annual service project in addition to school-wide efforts. Projects include collecting food for Backpacks for Hunger, tennis shoe collection for recycling, Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart, collecting books to create Literacy Kits for the United Way, a Toy Drive for the Bradley Center before the holidays, collecting hats and mittens for the Homeless Children's Education Fund and fourth graders visiting elderly friends at Presbyterian Senior Care in Oakmont.
Every grade at the Junior School participates in an annual service project in addition to school-wide efforts. Class projects include: delivering flowers to neighbors in the community (PK); the Salvation Army's Bounce for Bundle-Up (K); the "Hearts for Haiti" fundraiser and planting spring bulbs (grade 1); a Thanksgiving food drive for a local food bank (grade 2); a pajama drive for foster children (grade 3); a supply drive for Humane Animal Rescue (grade 4); and playing holiday music at a local nursing home (grade 5). School-wide projects include the annual Giving Tree and holiday toy drive, where students purchase and donate toys for needy children during the holidays.
Middle School students participate annually in Global Action Day, a comprehensive day of service learning for the entire school that includes educational sessions with local nonprofits and hands-on service projects. Each year Global Action Day has a different theme, and each grade focuses on a different service effort related to that theme. Students meet in advisory groups to brainstorm service projects they can carry out during the rest of the school year to continue supporting their cause. In addition, the Community Service Committee plans and leads various service projects and drives in the community.
A wide variety of service opportunities are available to Senior School students:
- Service Learning Club – Activities include volunteering at soup kitchens and food banks; hosting blood drives; restoring/rebuilding homes; a holiday gift drive for needy children, and more. Learn more.
- Urban Pathways Tutoring – Students volunteer to tutor elementary students in grades 3-5 in math and reading on select Saturday mornings at Urban Pathways Charter School in downtown Pittsburgh. Learn more.
- Parkin Fellowships – Students may apply for summer fellowships to participate in service projects around the globe. Learn more.
- Student Clubs – A number of student clubs focus on service projects, such as CARE, the Chiapas Club, the Environmental Club, and Kids of Haiti. Learn more.