ASHS->Academics->Service Learning->What Service Activities Count?

What Counts?

  • Working on an (after) school based service project such as the Eyeglasses Project, Quilts for Kids (if you turn in a completed quilt), the Red Cross Club, or Martin Luther King Day of Service Committee 
  • Service projects through the Builders Club, Green Thumbs, Key Club, Leo Club, Red Cross Club, or buildOn (a reasonable amount of time can be counted for planning, preparation, and celebrating your accomplishments, but not every meeting can be counted as SERVICE to the community) 
  • Walk-A-Thons may be counted for the actual hours that you participate but only if you are making a minimum $15 financial contribution, as the intent of the walks is primarily fundraising 
  • Only actual, unpaid, time spent in performance at or for a charitable event will count for musical performances and theatrical productions. 
  • Mentorship projects such as leading childrens’ homework clubs, youth groups, helping with younger scouts, coaching children’s sports teams, etc. 
  • Leadership training that takes place outside of school (only time spent in workshops/ lobbying may count)
  • Time spent on in-depth research for some aspect of your service project (up to 3 hours), such as AIDS, hunger, or other social issues. 
  • Service that takes place during regular school hours, such as Poppy Bear helper or Reading Buddies will count because these activities benefit the community.
  • (Ungraded) Internships where a service to the community is performed
  • Working on political campaigns and at the polls on Election Day  
  • Faith-based activities that include volunteering to teach Sunday School; Vacation Bible School (count as a mentorship)
  • Painting and cleaning the church, mosque, or synagogue; mentoring children after school; youth group community-based service projects 
  • Mission trips where service is the main component (excluding eating, sleeping, worshiping and playing)

What Does Not Count?



  • Work Study and Transition to Work hours are considered part of a student’s educational plan and are intended to benefit the student, himself.  Students receive a grade for their work and therefore it does not count as service, for which student’s may receive no compensation such as pay or school credit.
  • Something done for your family such as painting your house, moving, or taking care of a grandparent
  • Activities done for able-bodied neighbors such as moving, painting, and lawn care 
  • Managing or being on an athletic team, being an announcer (for sports teams or the school’s morning announcements) or stage crew are considered extra-curricular activities and do not meet the definition of service to the community
  • Activities where you pay to learn a skill or craft (dance, filmmaking, athletics) 
  • Hosting a foreign exchange student 
  • Fostering an animal (maximum 50 hours per year, regardless of the number of animals being fostered)
  • Working for a profit-based business when you are not paid 
  • Babysitting 
  • Eating, sleeping, worship, and playtime on a mission trip 
  • A contribution to a collection drive such as prom gowns, books, soda tabs, coats, food, and toiletries. There are two exceptions: a successful blood donation for the American Red Cross (three hours), and a toy donation of $5.00 or more for Toys for Tots (one hour). 
  • Activities that take place during a normal worship service such as ushering, participation in choir, playing music for a service, or other worship activities
  • Door-to-door proselytizing 


Some, but not all, of the activities listed above may count for the Congressional Award, which is a federal program that includes personal growth, athletic and travel experiences.



New Federal Guidelines on Faith-Based Activities

  • The following activities may now be counted for the PresidentR17;s Volunteer Service Award and include, but are not limited to:
  • Volunteering to teach Sunday school (mentorship)
  • Volunteering for arts and crafts or recreation at Vacation Bible School
  • Painting, cleaning, or work performed for the church, mosque, or synagogue (however this does not count for the Congressional Award)
  • Direct, community service activities performed as a youth group
  • Mentoring children after school
  • Mission trips (excluding eating, sleeping, and worship time)

What does not count?

Activities that take place during the normal worship service are considered outside the PresidentR17;s Volunteer Service Award guidelines. This means that ushering, participation in the choir, playing music, babysitting in the church nursery, or other activities that are practiced during worship hours are not counted.

** These rules do not necessarily apply to the Congressional Award. If you are a participant, check your Blue book for details.