Service-based Learning
Putting faith into action is foundational to Shepherd of the Woods. At the school, the students experience putting faith in action through collecting chapel offerings for those in need and participating in service-based learning projects.

Service-based learning combines problem-solving, academic skills, and love for others to find and assist with needs in the community and around the world. Service-based learning puts academic learning in a deeper context by seeing immediate and uncontrived results. Students also develop socially and emotionally though service-based learning projects. Three to five times a year, students engage in service-based learning projects. Below are some of the projects in which students have particpated.

Our students learned that dirty water causes a lot of problems. Diseases, conflict and even death. A convenient source of clean water gives adults and children more time for earning income and attending school. Through your generous chapel offerings we will be able to give the gift of clean water ― life’s essential element ― to TWO families in Africa, Asia or Latin America by donating the offerings to Lutheran World Relief—Work in Water project. Thanks for your continued support for of our efforts to help the students learn how blessed they are and that they can make a difference by sharing their gifts!

Click here to view the Public Service Announcement our students prepared as a part of their studies on clean water.

Tarma, Peru Mission
Since 2005, Shepherd of the Woods has been supporting a mission church in Tarma, Peru. Not only do we support two worshipping congregations, but also, Lutheran Social Services in Tarma. At 14,000 feet above sea level this beautiful town with a loving community is being nourished with Word and service. We have provided food, shelter, clothing, and employment opportunties to many who are in extreme poverty. We have also provided Christmas parties and gifts to children who would have not celebrated our Lord's birth due to their poverty. Children, who cannot attend public school without a uniform, have been given the opportunity to attend school to enrich their lives and break the cycle of poverty. The impact our church and school make on this community of God is indescribable.

The students most recently assisted in collecting fund for "cuy" farmers in a village outside of Tarma, Peru. A cuy is a guinea pig, which is a delicacy in Peru. These animals are fairly easy and cost little to raise, so they are a good investment for a community to help improve their standard of living. Students learned about how to operate a cuy farm and designed their own model cuy farms. We also have our own cuy, Juan Call, the namesake of the town receiving the funds. The students have learned how to care for Juan Call and enjoy having him in our school! In keeping with our school tradition, we celebrated our gifts to the cuy farmers with a dinner and presentation. Most importantly, we skyped with the community in Peru. We sang "Jesus Loves Me" to them in Spanish and they responded with singing "Jesus Loves Me" in English. It was a great night of fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Tarma, Peru.

This school year, 2013-2014, the students collected $589.62 to help build a playground for a school in Conga, Peru, which does not have a playground. Conga is outside of Tarma, Peru, where we have a mission church.
Jacksonville Zoo
Our students have adopted animals at the Jacksonville Zoo, have learned about the animals, and have had Outreach Learning Experiences by the Jacksonville Zoo on both of our school campuses.
Lutheran Social Services, Jacksonville
Since 2008, our students have been supporting Lutheran Social Services Refugee Program, which helps newly arrived refugees become acclimated to their new home in Jacksonville, FL, by assisting them with housing, health, employment, and education.
Students also prepared "Bags of Blessings" for refugee children who come to our country with no toys or clothing.

Lutheran World Relief
Since 2009, our students have supported Lutheran World Relief's (LWR) many projects. Through support of our congregations' Quilting Ministry, the students have supported LWR's "Quilts & Kits Minisitry." Through donations the students have also supported LWR's "Work in Water Project." The students have studied the water cycle and the need for clean water and produced a Public Service Announcement about their findings.

Each year students participate in food drives and collect funds to help those who are hungry both locally and globally. Through learning about hunger in our world, the students have gained important insights on how blessed they are and how easily they can help solve the problem of hunger in their community and in the world. Students have supported the ELCA World Hunger program and the local Second Harvest Food Bank. Students have also offered their talents through making bowls for Second Harvest Empty Bowls Luncheon.
Our students have shared their time, talent, and treasures in response to many more needs in our community, nationally, and globally. With each project they take on, the students are learning the importance of faith in action and building and using their God-given gifts. Here is a list of other agencies to which our students have contributed:

♦ Jacksonville Humane Society

♦ Local families in need during the holidays

♦ ALS Walkathon Team

♦ Heart for Haiti

♦ God's Global Barnyard

♦ Pasta for Pennies                                                                                                                                                        

Wolfson's Children's Hosptial

Learning, Loving, Serving