Teach2Serve Program

Teach2Serve is an experiential learning program that empowers students to create solutions to social or environmental problems they identify in the world. Whether starting a tutoring program in an urban elementary school or raising awareness about local food insecurity, students learn by doing and become change-makers in the process.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —MARGARET MEAD, former Holmquist student and one of the most famous cultural anthropologists and philosophers of the 20th century

A Letter From the Director

January 18, 2021

Dear Parents of 9th, 10th and 11th graders:

Teach2Serve, an experiential learning program developed at Solebury School, is designed to educate, train, and inspire high school students who want to bring about positive social change in their world. Students who complete this program will graduate from high school equipped with an effective set of leadership skills. This program is consistent with the values and respect for all humankind that Solebury School has always promoted and puts us at the forefront of public service education for high school students.

The first year of the program consists of classes, workshops, community service, a summer internship opportunity, and the development and execution of a group project to address an environmental or social problem that they care about. The program was designed for students beginning 10th or 11th grade in the fall, but applications will be considered from Solebury students in any grade. At the end of the first year Public Service Certificate Program, students may apply to be Teach2Serve Fellows and spend a second and maybe even a third year completing a capstone project that benefits a community in need or the environment. In this program, students learn by doing and gain team building, fundraising, public speaking, creative problem solving, and  project development skills.

We encourage you and your teen to peruse the Teach2Serve page on the Solebury website to learn more about the program and past projects. I will hold student and parent information sessions about the program in February and applications are due on April 12, 2021. Any student excited about the opportunity to learn and apply the skills needed to bring about social change is encouraged to attend an information session, fill out an application or contact me for more information. This is a long-term commitment, and although there are no academic prerequisites to the program, students should be motivated to engage in service learning and willing to work hard. I believe the students will be more than rewarded for their efforts.


Teach2Serve Director, Diane Downs 


Teach2Serve Curriculum

In the first year of the program, students explore the history and philosophy of philanthropy and social change, and develop various leadership skills before conceiving, planning, and implementing a group project to address a social or environmental problem they have identified. Students who continue for a second year work with a teacher to develop a capstone project to address an issue of particular interest to them. See course specifics below.


Giving: Public Service and Social Innovation: (year 1) 

In this full year honors social studies course, which is a requirement of the Teach2Serve certificate program, students will study the history of philanthropy and social service in the public, private, and non-profit sectors and identify the motivations, strengths and limitations of each.  Students will become familiar with the actors in the process, the barriers that exist, the points of entry, and the pathways to change.  Along the way, they will develop such skills as teambuilding, communication, consensus building, conflict resolution, creative problem solving, resource mobilization, and fundraising.  Lessons and skills will be reinforced through an examination of articles, books, and case studies related to an area of need chosen by the class.  This course also includes workshops with dynamic social entrepreneurs and professionals working in the community benefit sector.  Course requirements include readings, journal responses, group projects, and a final paper.  Open to students in the Teach2Serve program only.…4 credits. Fall and winter trimester.

Teach2Serve: Capstone Project: (year 2)

Students who complete the first year of the Teach2Serve program, including a group project to address a need identified by the team, may apply for a second year to work on an individual capstone project using the skills learned in year 1. Students meet twice a week to conceive, plan, develop and implement a proposed solution to a problem or need identified by the student. Students start by listening to those in the affected community, educating themselves, educating others, and defining their goals. They are asked to develop and practice an elevator pitch so they can succinctly communicate what they hope to accomplish with their project. Next, they write a vision and mission statement; a project proposal in which they identify their goals, assets, logistics, marketing plan, recruiting plan, and governance; a preliminary budget; a fundraising proposal; and a self-evaluation. The focus of this student-directed program is on learning by doing.  Open to students in the second year of the Teach2Serve program only.  Non-credit course required for Teach2Serve students pursuing a capstone project.

Learn about Solebury School's TEDx Talks, hosted by our Teach2Serve Program.