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Hillcrest School

Hillcrest School Community Service Plan For All Grades

Rationale:  In addition to a strong academic program, we want to instill in our students a connection to the community around them.  Community Service is an opportunity for students to analyze a need, evaluate how they can make a positive contribution, and then create a way to affect change.

As our students mature through the grade levels, they move from memorization to understanding and finally to applying their learning. The community service program must grow with them to provide age appropriate opportunities to make a difference in the world around them.

Hillcrest Commitment to Community Service

Guiding Principles:

  • Connect with our school community.
  • Connect with our greater Oakland schools community.
  • Connect with our greater Oakland community.
  • Honor community service work done by students with their families & community groups.

Philosophy:  You don’t have to be powerful to make a huge impact on your community.  Community Service TEACHES and MODELS for our children what it means to be part of a community.  Our community is Oakland.

Expectation:  All Hillcrest students – from kindergarten through 8th grade – can contribute their time and effort to better their community.

Paradigm Shift:  In the past, children collected money or things to contribute to organizations to which they had little connection or follow-up.  The child’s focus was on competing to see who could collect the most.  We believe there is more power in DOING.  If we gave more of ourselves: time, effort, talent, we create an opportunity to connect and interact with those we are helping.

Hillcrest Community Service by Grade Level

Grade Level




Piedmont Gardens Senior Center

Learn songs to sing to sing to seniors at a senior center.
Sending student art, letters and writing to seniors. Build empathy and awareness of different generations.  There are also lessons on the importance of caring and giving to others (Life Skills).  Art and writing for a purpose.


Book Drive – for libraries and schools with few books

Students build an understanding that many children are less fortunate than them and that they can help them.  The lessons will reinforce an on-going curriculum focus on the importance of learning to read and reading often. Students make posters that encourage book donation. Students count and sort books according to genre.


Food Drive for Alameda Food Bank 

A representative from the Alameda Food Bank gives lessons on the need for food in our community, as well as, health lessons on the different types of food the body needs.  Students make posters to encourage families to donate non-perishable food.  Students count and record the amount of food donated by food group.


Henry J. Robinson Multi-Service Center

Making lunches for families living in shelters.  Develop empathy and awareness of families in crisis in Oakland and how to help and make a difference.  Lessons in art (decorate bags), letter writing, hygiene (washing hands), healthy food, and nutrition.





Temescal Invasive Plant Removal/
Davis St. Recycling Ctr

Living Systems (FOSS):  Learn about native vs. non-native plants and the effects of non-native plants in the ecosystem.  Help restore a local park to its native state.  Participate in Hillcrest Green Team activities:  learn about food waste and recyclables, and where trash goes when we throw things away. 

Middle School*

School Service and Individual Community Service Projects

Continuing the learning begun in the lower grades—empathy for others and care for the environment--the middle school service program focuses on our unique opportunity as a K-8 school to give back to our school community thru school service.  Middle school students can make an impact on their school through their role-modeling and leadership of the younger students, fundraising efforts, and care for the school site.  Students who already participate in service programs with their family, or other charitable organization, may get credit for these hours as an alternative. For more details go to the Middle School Community Service page.

Hillcrest Helps Out

Families Reaching Out to Other Oakland Schools



Our school community service coordinator looks for opportunities several times per year, for Hillcrest parents and students to work together to make a difference at other Oakland Schools.  We try to select projects that encourage parents and children from the school we are helping to join us in making a difference.
Sister Schools:  We are “Sister Schools” with Lockwood, Santa Fe, Sankofa, and Piedmont Avenue.  Over the years, we have also provided support to Allendale, Think College Now, Lincoln, Reach Academy, Lakeview, Madison Middle, Lazear, Maxwell Park, Place at Prescott, Hoover, West Oakland Middle School and Emerson.

* For more details about Middle School community service, click here.

Hillcrest School  •  30 Marguerite Drive  •  Oakland, CA 94618  •   Tel 510-879-1270  •  Fax 510-879-1279