Program requirements overview:
|9th grade ||Community Awareness class; 5 Community Awareness Hours completed inside of class during that semester.|
|9th or 10th grade||One 20-hour project, done either year; must be completed by the end of 10th grade year.|
|11th grade ||Life Skills/Service Leadership; a 15-hour service project completed during class throughout the year.|
|12th grade||Bridging Community; combined with Senior Mysteries classes.|
In the Community Awareness class, the primary goal is to introduce students to service participation at the high school level. After reviewing the Upper School graduation requirement, students learn about community service needs and opportunities through a variety of speakers and other experiences. Students are exposed to local service venues such as: OPCC, Westside Food Bank, Head Start, St. Anne School, convalescent homes, etc. The students may visit some of the above organizations during class time so they can have a more hands-on experience. The intention is that students discover a range of possibilities and ultimately find personally meaningful opportunities through service. During this semester (inside of class time) students complete 5 hours of Community Service. This class is graded Pass/Fail.
In Life Skills/Service Leadership, we bridge our focus from the stories of individual students toward our commitment to the greater community. This class provides the stress relief and group support of a Mysteries class, while simultaneously developing students’ service leadership awareness and skills (including public speaking, delegation, decision making, organization, and working well in a group). Students in this class conceive, develop and implement a ten-hour service project in class while developing a deeper understanding of what it takes to create and maintain various service-based nonprofit organizations. This class is also designed to serve and support students’ academic, social and emotional life, providing a place for students to discuss concerns, self-reflect, gain group support and develop ways of reducing the stress of this period of their lives. Life Skills topics for the class may include: study skills, stress-reduction, time management, creating balance and joy, managing emotions, and the telling of one’s life story as a “hero’s journey.” Students are responsible for completing a minimum of five additional service hours by the end of their 11th grade year in order to fulfill their Community Service requirements. This class is graded Pass/Fail.
The twelfth grade Community Outreach class is integrated into the year-long Mysteries class. After obtaining a Council Training during class time, the class visits other Los Angeles based schools to both facilitate and participate in Council. This provides an opportunity for our students to learn about others their age in different areas of the city.
On campus we have many student clubs that encourage students to be advocates for civil rights and social justice. Often these are student-inspired and led. Examples of such clubs include:
- Teen AIDS Ambassadors: The Crossroads Teen AIDS Ambassadors are educator-activists working towards the eradication of HIV/AIDS. This cadre of motivated teenagers is in the business of persuading others to join the global fight against AIDS, which they believe is the moral crisis of their generation. The Ambassadors are the only peer-education program backed by the UCLA AIDS Institute, which provides the science-based materials that the Teen AIDS Ambassadors use when they make presentations. The program’s mantra is "Knowledge Is Power" — the more you know about how HIV is transmitted, the safer you are. We believe that every person needs this information, because every sexual encounter is potentially an encounter with the most deadly virus humankind has ever encountered.
- PRIDE: The mission of PRIDE at Crossroads is to create an atmosphere of respect, understanding and awareness of the issues and concerns of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning people through informative activities, open discussion, and social interaction.
- Animal Rights: A club of activists whose goal is to go out into the community and educate people about animal welfare. Students present issues to the City Council and are often seen demonstrating in locations like Third Street Promenade.
- SEA Club: The goals of SEA (Students for Environmental Activism) are to COMMUNICATE ideas of sustainability and respect for the earth to our community, ENACT CHANGE within our school and our community toward a sustainable future and DEMONSTRATE an environmental conscience.
Close to Crossroads, students have performed service at Turning Point, a transitional housing facility; St. Anne School; Westside Food Bank; Edison Language Academy; and Team Prime Time, which is an after-school sports and mentoring program at Webster Middle School, as well as organizations located in different parts of Los Angeles, such as Pep LA, Teenline, and Inside Out Community Arts. Inspired by their community service experiences, some of our students have traveled independently both in and out of the country for various summer service opportunities.
Because reflection is a key component of meaningful experiential education, we build this in to the service process. Through discussion and reflection papers, we invite students to consider the learning they’ve experienced. These reflection papers are often shared by the coordinators with other students to provide inspiration and an awareness of what is possible in having an impact on the community as well as on oneself.