Service is interwoven into the student experience at Espiritu Santo Catholic School. Service is a part of daily student life here at Espiritu Santo. From the very youngest students in our pre-kindergarten classes, to the pre-teens in middle school, students are encouraged to help others. Their involvement in service projects and their commitment to improving lives around them is a formative aspect of their education. By looking outside of themselves, students quickly realize they have the ability to make a positive difference in the world.

While faculty members are encouraged to seek out projects with community impact throughout the year as it relates to their curriculum, several on-going programs are important to the culture of giving at ESCS:

Best Buddies
For a decade, ESCS eighth-graders have participated in the “Best Buddies” program. Best Buddies is an international, non-profit organization that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

As a Catholic school, ESCS is one of only two middle schools in central Florida that participates in a program that matches friendships between two schools. The goal is to provide young men and women with an opportunity for friendship and understanding with peers that have needs different from their own.

Pinellas Hope
Pinellas Hope is a temporary emergency shelter for over 250 homeless men and women, located in Clearwater on 20 acres provided by Bishop Robert N. Lynch and the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

During their seventh grade year, ESCS students will prepare and serve several meals for the residents at Pinellas Hope. In addition, seventh grade class will host several projects throughout the school year that benefit this local, Catholic-based charity, including “Fresh Fruit Drives” and Dress Down Days.

Catholic Education Week – 1,000 Works of Service
As part of the nationwide celebration of Catholic education in January, students at Espiritu Santo completed more than one thousand individual works of service, highlighting the value that Catholic schools bring to our local communities. Each grade level chose a service project based on specific needs in our community.

Third graders are partnering with a program called “We Give Books” to earn new books that will be donated to underprivileged children. They are also holding a book drive to benefit patients at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.

The fourth grade homerooms are focused on supporting Trinity Café in Tampa by creating Valentine-themed treat bags for their patrons, and making a banner celebrating their recent milestone of serving over one million meals.

Students in sixth grade are collecting blankets for the Humane Society.

Eighth graders will meet up with their friends from the Best Buddies program, which fosters friendships between Espiritu Santo students and students from Paul B Stevens Exceptional School in Clearwater.

Student Council is sponsoring a toiletry drive to bolster supplies for St. Vincent de Paul’s ministry.

The list goes on, and it all adds up to over one thousand opportunities to help others. Through these opportunities, Espiritu Santo students gain valuable experiences that will carry them forward in life and help mold them into the leaders of tomorrow, ready to find solutions to challenges of the future with wisdom and grace.

American Heart Association
As part of Catholic Education Week, the ESCS Athletic Department sponsors “Jump Rope for Heart” and “Hoops for Heart” to benefit the American Heart Association (AHA).
Kimberly Home
The Kimberly Home is a resource center that provides support to expecting mothers and young families, and receives support from several ESCS service projects throughout the year.

During March, the National Junior Honor Society completed a service project with a site visit to their Clearwater campus. The students delivered donations of diapers, clothing and other baby supplies, all donated by the Espiritu Santo community. They also spent the day doing some much-needed spring cleaning for the Kimberly Home, attending to yard work and other chores.