Community Service

At Bentley, the importance of community service cannot be overstated as part of the culture of the school. All students, from Kindergarten through 12th grade, understand that they have a responsibility as global citizens to learn about the world around them and to give back to the community to which they belong.

Lower and Middle School
Students participate in several meaningful community service projects throughout the year. Many of these projects are woven into various parts of the curriculum, especially in the Lower School. Older students often initiate drives, bake sales and other community service-related projects through student government.  As community needs change annually, so do the efforts.

Below is a list of the regular service projects on the Hiller Campus:
  • Seasonal Food Drives with Alameda County Food Bank
  • Seasonal clothing drives for local shelters and organizations
  • Toys for Tots
  • Empty Bowls for Alameda County Food Bank
  • Jump Rope for Heart with the American Heart Association
Upper School
In the Upper School, community service is an opportunity for students to educate themselves beyond the limits of the classroom, to gain awareness of the broader world, and to cultivate a life-long commitment to service. Examples of this include tutoring the educationally disadvantaged, providing assistance to the physically disabled or elderly, and serving food or leading activities at a homeless shelter. Bentley encourages students to develop an on-going commitment to an organization, which benefits the underserved, that may continue throughout their time at Bentley and into college and after. To be eligible for graduation, each Upper School Bentley student must complete a total of 60 hours of service.

Some of the community organizations students partner with:
  • Children's Hospital Oakland
  • Alameda County Food Bank
  • Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties
  • Blood Centers of the Pacific
  • Chabot Space and Science Center
  • Lawrence Hall of Science
  • Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek
  • Berkeley Rep
  • Oakland Zoo
  • Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
  • Friends of Sausal Creek in Oakland
  • The Bay Area Crisis Nursery, in Concord
  • Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond

Upper School Community Service FAQ

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • How many hours of Community Service are required to meet Bentley’s graduation requirement?

    A total of 60 hours of Community Service is required to be eligible for graduation.  Up to 15 of those hours can be “in-house” (or on-campus).
  • What is meant by “in-house?”  

    There are two categories of Community Service, “in-house” (or on-campus) and “off-campus.”  “In-house” service directly benefits the Bentley campus. Remember, only 15 hours for “in-house” are eligible for your total Community Service hours.
  • Does fundraising count for Community Service?

    Fundraising does fulfill the Community Service requirement as long as the money is being raised to support a non-profit group or organization of which the students is not an immediate beneficiary. Examples include fundraising for cancer research, soup kitchens, animal shelters, etc. Fundraising for your own sports team or club (to pay for uniforms, tournaments, coaching, etc.) does not count. 
     
  • Will my work with my church or temple count towards the service requirement?

    In order to be applicable, an activity may not be associated with the rituals, services or ceremonies of any specific religion, and proselytizing or fundraising to support a specific religion or religious institution (e.g. choir membership, altar service, reading from a Holy book) while worthy endeavors, does NOT count. Activities which benefit the community at large such as clothing drives, youth group trips to build houses, serving food at shelters, etc., ARE applicable.
     
    You can find the Community Service Time Sheet here:
    Time sheet 
     
  • Will my political work count towards the requirement?

    While political involvement and activism is highly encouraged, most politically-oriented work is NOT applicable to the service requirement. This includes attending a political protest and working for a councilperson or a political party.
     
  • I transferred to Bentley, what is my Community Service Requirement?

    Transfer students have their hours pro-rated at 15 hours per year in attendance at Bentley Upper School. For example, a student who transfers here as a sophomore and attends Bentley for three years would have a 45 hour Community Service requirement.
     
  • If I transferred to Bentley can I transfer hours from another school?

    Yes, but you still need to complete the Bentley requirements as well.
     
  • How do I document my Community Service hours?

    Once you are sure your Community Service is acceptable, you should print out a Community Service Time Sheet and bring it with you when you perform your service. The adult leader of the service project must sign and date the form when you complete the service. FORMS CANNOT BE SIGNED BY PARENTS. When your form is complete turn it in to the main office.
     
  • How do I find out about Community Service opportunities?

    Visit the Community Service bulletin board by the computer lab, join the Community Service Group in My Bentley, join the Community Service club or log on to www.helpnow.org,
    www.volunteerinfo.org, or 
    www.handsonbayarea.org.

The Bentley Story

Founded in 1920, Bentley School has fostered an environment that challenges the mind, striving to bring out the best in every one of its students. Bentley School is committed to academic excellence as well as the development of character and spirit in each of its students. (Read more in the Head of School's Message.)

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K-8 Campus
1 Hiller Drive
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 843-2512
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1000 Upper Happy Valley Road
Lafayette, CA 94549
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