CSLA Service Learning Day
Posted on 01/02/2024
CSLA Service Learning Day

Chattanooga, Tennessee- Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA) high school students recently participated in a Service Learning Day, dedicating their time to volunteering and making a positive impact in the local community.

On November 21, students from grades 9-11 at CSLA came together for a day of community service. Each student had the opportunity to choose where they wanted to volunteer, fostering engagement across their grade levels.

The day was organized by Anna Ballard, the College and Career Advisor at CSLA. She expressed, “We believe that all students deserve the best educational opportunities, but we also want our students to be active participants in our diverse and caring community.” 

Community service is a requirement for CSLA students, and they were presented with various options for their volunteer work. Some partnered with the Be the Change Youth Initiative (BCYI)hosted by United Way, others joined in at Crabtree Farms, and some lent a helping hand at the school itself, assisting with younger grades and working on projects in the gym.

Despite rain causing some changes, the enthusiasm for volunteering remained, especially at Crabtree Farms. Students engaged in activities like picking and washing produce and preparing it for an afternoon market.

One CSLA student, Hannah Kruian, shared her positive experience at the Be Kind initiative. She had the chance to connect with the BCYI founders, learn about their mission, and contribute by writing kind words on coffee cups for Be Caffinated, adding encouragement and favorite quotes. Kriuian said about her experience, “We say every morning at CSLA that we want to be lifelong learners, and that's part of it. We learned that day how to be empathetic and to care about others.”

The impact of the Service Learning Day extended beyond volunteering. United Way expressed interest in having CSLA students serve on the Youth United committee, providing valuable opportunities for personal and academic growth. Kruian stated, “This is a great opportunity for college applications, and I wouldn't have had this opportunity if it wasn't for our teachers who care so much about our future.”

As CSLA expands, plans are in place to make the Service Learning Day a lasting tradition. With next year’s completion of a K-12 school at CSLA, the commitment to community engagement remains a core part of the school's values, thanks to the dedication of Anna Ballard and students like Hannah Kruian.