Students » Community Service

Community Service

        What is community service according to the NYC Dept of Education, and what qualifies?
The DOE defines community service as: an activity that engages students in real-life solutions to strengthen communities. Community service can be a one-time activity or a series of activities and is a key component of service-learning. 
You can find more information about the 100 hours community service seal here:
You can find more information about Service in Schools tab here
Please remember that service is an activity or action that constitutes some type of "work". The language that we must focus on is HOURS when it comes to community service in the students' case; that equates to time and energy spent, not "currency".
  • selling/buying an item in exchange for a service hour, even if it is for a cause (i.e. purchasing a button for pride awareness is not service)
  • donating money to a cause (does not translate to hours of service)
  • hosting a school event such as a dance, movie night, talent show, etc, especially one in which your groups profit from it! (However, if your group is hosting a fundraiser to donate to a cause, the hours your group works that event can translate to service)
  • buying tickets for a school event (see examples above)
  • attending a school event (see examples above)
  • donating items for a cause (toys, gifts, etc)- again one item does not constitute one hour of service (However, if your group is organizing the drive- sorting items, boxing them, packing them up etc THAT would be service)
  • donating blood
Essentially... students cannot use service as "currency" or system of exchange- ex/ a penny harvest, putting pennies in a coin box does not equate to hours of service. # of items donated/sold does not equate to an hour of service, or several hours of service. It is not an "exchange" of services.
  • volunteering to an outside group - can be done at educational centers, religious institutions, nursing homes, animal shelters, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless shelter, other non-profits, etc. MOST of these examples provide a letter from their institution to indicate # of hours provided and SHOULD be uploaded as documentation with Naviance
  • RUNNING a drive or fundraiser event- coat, blood, clothing, toy, etc. remember donating the item is not, but working/organizing event is (hours)
  • a run/walk (because it provides the time into the cause)
  • writing letters to nursing homes, veterans, orphanage, etc
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • cleaning a highway/park/ocean or water source
  • service periods in the library, an office, a classroom, etc (so to clarify the example of "currency" with this example- let's say a student organizes 100 books in an hour.... they receive an hour of community service, not 100 because they sorted 100 books. it is about service HOURS not currency.)
If you are looking for good service opportunities, feel free to sign up for the Service in Schools newsletter, so that way you can have examples emailed to you directly: 
Please be reminded that once students upload community service hours on Naviance, that they will be audited and reviewed at the end of the year to determine if they qualify for the NYC DOE Service Seal.
How do I upload my community service to Naviance?
Please review this letter from our College Adviser on how to upload your community service to Naviance. There is also a video tutorial that students can review from this letter on the step-by-step process: