Giving Back at Capital City

Community service is an important component of Capital City’s mission to graduate students who possess a sense of civic responsibility. As a requirement for high school graduation, all students must complete at least 100 hours of community service. But the sense of importance in giving back doesn’t start or stop in high school, it is seen throughout all campuses. 

Members of our school community have taken part in numerous service projects this school year — including clearing invasive plant species at neighboring Fort Slocum park, raising money for family homeless shelters, volunteering for the Humane Rescue Alliance, and collecting supplies to send to students in the Philippines — to name a few examples. 

We connected with some Capital City student and staff volunteers to ask them about these service projects and why they choose to give back. 


High Schoolers try their hand being After Care Teachers in apprenticeship program


Since November, 11th grade student Lagos has been helping lower school families by taking part in the After Care Teacher Apprentice Program. For a few hours each week, Lagos gets to learn from the school’s After Care teachers and try out the job herself. 

Eleventh grade student Lagos draws with PreK students during After Care.

Why do you think Capital City puts an emphasis on having students do community service? 

Because we might gain more than we believe, and get to learn new things and test waters. For example, this helps me figure out if I might want to be a teacher or someone volunteering at a pet shelter can test out if they are interested in being a vet. We come across the unexpected that might actually reward us in life. It helps us expand from our limits. I think Capital City wants to encourage us to get out there and hopefully gain something from it. 

​​​​​​​How does doing community service make you feel?

It makes me feel refreshed. This is something new I’ve been doing, and it makes me feel like I’m doing something useful. I’m helping out but also learning and talking to new people. 

Lagos, 11th grader

Do you think you will continue to do community service?

I do think I will. A lot of people gain from it, not only those who I am helping but also myself. 

Middle School Crew raise money for family homeless shelters 

Fifth grade students Cameron and Genesis, along with their middle school crew classmates, raised $150 in December for DC area family homeless shelters by hosting a snack sale fundraiser.

5th grade Crew fundraiser
Cameron, 5th grader

Why do you think Capital City put an emphasis on having students take part in community service? 

Cameron - They want us to learn to help people when they need it. The community gives to us. If you don’t give back, you take the community for granted. 

Genesis, 5th grader

How did raising money for the family homeless shelters make you feel? 

Genesis - It made me feel good because we were raising money for homeless people. I think it’s important to do community service because it’s a good thing to do. It’s caring. 

Do you think you'll continue to do community service in the future? If so, what would you want to do? 

Genesis - Yeah, probably. Maybe raising money or helping at an animal shelter. 

Cameron - Yes, because I want to become a soccer player and entertain people. When I get a lot of money playing soccer, I can donate it. 


Lower school teachers send resources to schools in the Philippines

Phillipines donation

Mr. Accad and Mrs. Accad are both lower school teachers originally from the Philippines. A few years ago, they heard from a friend that there were schools in the Philippines operating without many basic supplies.

Working with their colleagues, they were able to locate used items — like books, pencils, and academic resources — that might have otherwise been thrown away at Capital City to send to schools in the Philippines. On January 20, a daycare center located in the coastal area of Polillo Island received a shipment of books and toys from Capital City. 

Mr. Accad

Why is community service something you think it important to take part in?

Mr. Accad - They are in dire need of all of this stuff. As an immigrant, I try to give back to my community. My goal is to give back and get things to my community in need. 

Mrs. Accad

Mrs. Accad - It makes a difference for children in our country, the Philippines. These children are living in the coastal area of Polillo Island. The source of income of their parents is fishing and farming. The local government and their parents helped each other to build their school, and they are grateful for all the blessings that we shared with them.

As a role model for students in the lower school, why do you think it’s important to show them your willingness to give back? 

Mr. Accad - It helps build the foundation for them to care. By looking at me and picking up on what I’m doing, it teaches them to not take what they have for granted. It helps build their sense for helping others…It’s part of EL Education to know each other and help each other. 

Do you think you’ll continue this project in the future? 

Mr. Accad - I’m going to continue to do what I can. I hope this can be my legacy to my hometown. 


High school students help keep Fort Slocum free of invasive plants

On January 18, high school students teamed up with our partners from the Rock Creek Conservancy to help clear invasive plant species from the neighboring Fort Slocum park. Tenth grade student Jocelyn was one of the volunteers who helped with the cleanup.

Fort Slocum cleanup

Why do you think Capital City puts an emphasis on having students take part in community service? 

To help the community, and so we can get our hours to graduate. We get to experience the work we do, and we might like what we’re doing and want to do this as a job in the future. 

Jocelyn, 10th grader

How does doing community service make you feel? 

It feels good to get to help someone. We can change people’s lives. For instance, we can help people organize food and give it to people who need it.