Community Service

East Catholic strives to provide students with meaningful service-learning opportunities through our STRETCH Program, which stands for “Service That Requires Engaging The Compassionate Heart.” All students commit to at least 10 hours of service every year, and many go beyond that commitment. East Catholic partners with a number of non-profit organizations in the Greater Hartford area, providing service for children and adults with developmental disabilities, the homeless, children in after-school programs, and the elderly, to name just a few of our service opportunities.

The STRETCH Program is largely student-led, with STRETCH Leaders coordinating and scheduling service at various sites and agencies throughout the year, guiding students through various service tasks, and helping them keep track of the service they’ve done.

For students who have demonstrated an especially deep commitment to service, East Catholic also takes a yearly service trip during February break to Nazareth Farm in rural West Virginia, where students spend a week serving alongside other high school students from across the country, doing mainly home repair work.

Reflecting on Service

In order to ensure that students get the most from their service activities, all Religion classes include a component of theological reflection on student service. This takes the form of a project that encourages students to reflect on service-related questions, including:

  • Who was I before I did this service, and who am I now?
  • How did this service activity affect me?
  • Why did I choose this service activity?
  • Whom did this service activity help, and how?