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

April 15, 2020

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

Solebury School is proud to offer a social innovation program that we believe is unique in a high school setting. The aim of the program is to educate, train, assist and inspire high school students who are committed to effecting positive social or environmental change.  Students who complete these programs will graduate from high school equipped with an effective set of leadership and project planning 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.

I am the Director of the program at Solebury School.  Year one of the program consists of classes, workshops, community service, summer reading, and the development and execution of a group service project.  Each spring, applications are accepted for the following year. This year, we are opening applications to students in 9th, 10th and 11th grade, and those who are admitted into this program will begin classes the following year. At the end of the first year Public Service Certificate Program, students in their sophomore or junior year may apply to be Teach2Serve Fellows and spend a second and maybe even a third year completing a capstone project that benefits the environment or a community in need. In this program, students learn by doing and gain leadership, team building, relationship building, fundraising, public speaking, problem solving, project development, and organizational skills.

We encourage you to have a conversation with your child about this service-learning program. If your child is excited about the opportunity to learn about and apply the skills needed to bring about social change, have her/him/them fill out an application or seek me out for more information. There are no academic prerequisites to the program, but we are looking for students who are motivated to engage in service learning and willing to work hard as a member of a team. My hope is that the students will be more than rewarded for their efforts. Follow these links for a full list of past group projects and capstone projects. Applications are due by Sunday, May 3 at 10:00pm.


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.

Teach2Serve: Giving
In this two trimester honors course, which is a requirement of the Teach2Serve program, students will study the history of philanthropy and social service in the public, private, and nonprofit 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, listening, conflict resolution, 36 negotiation, resource mobilization, and fundraising. Lessons will be communicated more concretely through an examination of articles, books, and case studies related to an area of need chosen by the class. This course will also include workshops and opportunities to meet with dynamic social entrepreneurs and professionals working in the non-profit world. Course requirements include readings, journal responses, group projects and presentations, and a grant proposal. Open to students in the Teach2Serve program only. 4 credits. Winter and Spring trimesters.

Teach2Serve: Developing Capstone
Students planning to continue for a second year of Teach2Serve will need to complete a summer internship or volunteer experience and write up a project proposal in the fall. In the winter trimester, students will begin meeting twice a week as a cohort and one-on-one with an instructor to conceive, plan, develop and implement a capstone project, which is a proposed solution to a social or environmental problem identified by the student. Students start by listening to those in the affected community, educating themselves, educating others, and defining their goals. They will develop and practice an elevator pitch so they can succinctly communicate what they hope to accomplish with their project. Next, they will 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 studentdirected program is on learning by doing. Open to students accepted from the Teach2Serve program only. 2 credits. Spring trimester, year 2.

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