An independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, DC

Service Learning - OLD

At Potomac, service learning connects our core values, curriculum, and service opportunities with identified community needs. It brings academics to life by creating meaningful experiences that empower students to think critically, use their creativity, and integrate learning with action.

Through service learning, students broaden their understanding of the world while using their talents and interests to effect positive change. We aspire to live Potomac's core values – courage, humility, integrity, perseverance, and respect – through service learning and to inspire a life-long commitment to service.

Potomac has a longstanding tradition of voluntary service to others, rooted in its mission. In 2014-15, we began the transition from community service to service learning, exemplified by more meaningful experiences that provide greater context, student voice, opportunities for reflection, and reciprocity with partner organizations.

What Distinguishes Potomac’s Service Learning Programs?
Our K-12 service learning initiatives

  • connect to the curriculum
    A defining element of service learning at Potomac is connecting our service themes and learning experiences to the classroom curriculum across all four divisions.
  • integrate student voice and choice
    We create meaningful experiences by drawing upon students' skills, interests, and talents to shape and lead service learning initiatives.
  • respond to community needs
    Working in collaboration with partner organizations, we develop our service initiatives purposefully, by learning about and responding to clearly defined community needs.
  • follow a series of intentional steps: planning, action, reflection, and sharing
    We strive to develop initiatives that benefit the community while providing valuable learning opportunities for Potomac students; this is accomplished by providing preparatory context; leading thoughtful, reinforcing reflection; and sharing experiences with others through discussion and demonstration.

How do we define the service “scope”?
Service begins at home within the Potomac community and extends outward to the local, regional, national, and international communities of which we are all a part.

What are Potomac’s service learning themes?
Potomac has defined four themes around which its service learning initiatives are built:

  • hunger, homelessness, and poverty
  • the environment
  • literacy
  • the elderly

Who do we partner with in our local community?
Many service learning initiatives are conducted in collaboration with local community partners, including Share of McLean, Cornerstones, Alternative House, and Martha’s Table.




ACE Everett
K-12 Service Learning Consultant

Becca Mahoney
Upper School Service Learning Coordinator
(703) 873-6140

Many Potomac graduates choose service professions, pursuing government,
teaching, medicine, nonprofit leadership, and more. We aspire to prepare leaders with a commitment to service, individuals who will use their knowledge and talents to make a lasting positive difference.


K-12 Coat Drive

The Lower School leads Potomac’s K-12 Coat Drive to benefit Cornerstones and their clients in need in northwestern Fairfax County. Read More...

Sandwich Day and Service Trips to Martha’s Table

Potomac has a two-decade school-wide tradition of monthly sandwich making to help feed individuals in need in Washington, DC. Read More...

New Curriculum-based Initiatives

As part of our transition to service learning, faculty leaders in each division are championing new curriculum-based initiatives. Read More...

May Day and Grandparents Day

Many of Potomac’s longstanding traditions provide opportunities for focused service initiatives. Read More...