Community Engagement

Community engagement is core to University School's mission which states the goal of inspiring “boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve.” At University School, we work closely with young people as both students and engaged citizens. By nurturing the intellectual, physical, moral, and emotional development of our students, we emphasize the value of community and helping others in the world outside our school. It is also important that we offer opportunities to exercise this initiative.
Lower School students begin community engagement during kindergarten by focusing on the campus community. During first grade, they bake and sell dog treats to raise money for the Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village and also make fleece blankets to donate. Second grade students bring in and record their favorite books and make puppets for children at the Cleveland Clinic’s Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation. Third graders meet with, thank, and give goodies to community service providers such as the Shaker Heights Fire Fighters and Police officers. In fourth grade, boys read to children and help teachers with projects at Head Start.
All Middle School students are required to contribute six hours of service work each year. For seventh and eighth graders this includes two hours of “off-campus” volunteering. Typically, students perform established tasks that benefit the school community such as helping at an athletic event or collecting recycling. In addition, the Middle School offers boys opportunities to connect with the larger Cleveland community. For example, students may volunteer at the Cleveland Food Bank. Other community engagement components include boys making and delivering soup on a weekly basis to an inner-city soup kitchen and each grade level taking a half-day to participate in an off-campus event of the team’s choice. Students may also design or take advantage of existing off-campus service opportunities by working with religious organizations or community-based groups. Finally, the Student Council helps to organize several activities including a Thanksgiving food drive, fundraisers for various charities, and service activities with other local schools.

At the Upper School, students plan and arrange their own community engagement activities with guidance from the Community Engagement office. By encouraging students to plan their own activities and creating more flexibility in scheduling, US believes that students will connect more fully with the people and organizations they work with. Elements of the Upper School program include completion of service at a boy's own initiative and 15 hours of community engagement each year, preferably at just one or two agencies. In addition, all students play an important role in our Thanksgiving Food Drive, which has been a tradition for over 30 years and supports more than 250 area families. Upper School students also work to meet expectations around Cadmean service, which involves supporting a variety of in-school activities.

Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere


Daniel LoPresti '03 Philanthropic Board

The Daniel W. LoPresti '03 Philanthropic Board of University School is an Upper School student-run group through which students engage in community service, learn the institutional skills necessary for philanthropy, raise funds to support their philanthropic goals, and solicit and make grants that help those in need. Our board's intention is to improve the quality of life of children in poverty in the Greater Cleveland area, with an emphasis on education. 

If you have an interest in funding a grant or would like more information, please contact Mr. Benjamin Malbasa at

Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
GRADES 9 – 12
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves over 850 boys in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence. University School is a diverse and inclusive community where each boy is known and loved. 
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