In 1990, students at Ingleside Middle School began a 3-year volunteer program to develop civic responsibility among its students. During the spring of 1993, the school and the Phoenix Children's Hospital entered into a community service partnership in which Ingleside students volunteer to help the hospital's patients.
In response to a continuous need at the local Phoenix Children's Hospital, Ingleside Middle School developed a year round partnership with the hospital which allows students to volunteer without leaving their campus. To overcome difficulties faced by younger volunteers such as hospital age restrictions, transportation and scheduling, the middle school integrated hospital needs with classroom curriculum.
Various classes addressed appropriate projects identified by the hospital, including collecting Christmas toys, making quilts for babies, collecting books for outpatient clinics and making neonatal nests. For those patients that do not speak English the students created bilingual holiday cards and alphabet books. Another part of the curriculum is collecting videos and music tapes for educational displays.
By incorporating volunteerism into the daily lives of the students, the originators of the project have encouraged a lifelong commitment to community service. For instance, students have approached teachers about branching off into other types of volunteer work.
Ingleside Middle School is setting an example for other middle schools by creating a program that uses volunteer hours from more than 200 students and incorporates community service projects into their daily curriculum.