The Office of Public Service, which oversees K-12 service learning work, is rooted in Trinity’s unique history and mission. Founded as a charity school in 1709 with a specific focus on addressing issues of urban poverty and inequality, Trinity School’s Office of Public Service continues this calling by grounding our service learning work in our diverse school neighborhood. Our service learning program distinguishes itself by integrating community engagement work into the school day, allowing Upper School students to work on a weekly basis at one of our Community Circle Partners. These neighborhood partners, located within a few blocks of Trinity, are the foundation of our service learning program as we encourage students to see the city as school, to apply classroom learning to genuine human and community needs. Each week, you will find Upper School students at Trinity working with preschool children at the Head Start across the street, serving lunch at the Goddard Senior Center, working with children at the Manhattan Children’s Center, and sorting food at the West Side Campaign Against Hunger. These are just a few of the ways that Trinity students incorporate hands-on work in the city as a part of their school life, devoting one free period each week to learn from the diverse world outside of our school walls. Through local work, students learn first-hand about important global issues: urban poverty, educational inequality, hunger and homelessness, learning differences, and the elderly.
Trinity takes a transformative approach to service learning. Many are familiar with the term “community service" and have participated in these forms of service by raising money for causes, organizing charitable drives, or participating in hands-on service projects or activities. While community service activities are important, Trinity is working toward what is called a "service learning" approach. Scholars Joel Westheimer and Joseph Kahne articulate the difference between these approaches in their writing on citizenship. They outline three different types of citizens: personally responsible, participatory, and transformative. The personally responsible citizen acts responsibly in the community; the participatory citizen is an active member of community organizations and/or improvement efforts; the transformative citizen critically assesses social, political, and economic structures.

Public Service News

List of 5 news stories.

  • 4MS visits MCC

    In conjunction with their reading of Wonder and Rules, 4th graders began their year-long partnership with students at the Manhattan Children’s Center, a school just one block from Trinity for children with autism spectrum disorder.  Students visit monthly.
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  • Advent Community Meal: October 11

    Trinity School students, parents, faculty and staff brought food donations to Advent Church to host the first Trinity/Advent Community Meal of the school year.  
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  • Senior Citizen Bingo Night: October 16

    Trinity School welcomed 85 senior citizens to dinner and bingo on Tuesday, October 16. 
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  • First meeting of the Kindergarten and 5th Grade Buddies

    Kindergarten students met their 5th grade buddies on Monday, September 24. 
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  • 4MS hosts MCC buddies for end of year celebration

    4MS welcomeed their MCC buddies to Trinity on Monday, June 4 for an end of year celebration for their year long partnership. 
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List of 2 members.

  • Dr. Sarah Bennison 

    Director of Public Service
    (212) 932-6838
    Smith College - B.A.
    Teachers College, Columbia University - M.A.
    Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University - M.A.
    New York University - Ph.D.
  • Mrs. Kara (Paske) Siegel 

    Assistant to the Chaplains and the Director of Public Service
    (646) 827-6697
    University of Michigan - B.S.
    Teachers College, Columbia University - M.A.

The Service Team

Office of Public Service
Sarah Bennison - Director of Public Service
Kara Siegel - Assistant to the Chaplains and Director of Public Service

Faculty Service Team
Emily Burnham
Mary Corbelli
Yosefa Forma
Luisen Elias Ruiz
Hyo Kim
Rebecca Maas
Taylor Morton
Blake Waldman
Christine Nealy
Elena Simpser
Ginn Norris
139 West 91st Street  |  New York, NY 10024-1326  |  (212) 873-1650
Located on Upper West Side of New York City, Trinity School is a college preparatory, coeducational independent school for grades K-12. Since 1709, Trinity has provided a world-class education to its students with rigorous academics and outstanding programs in athletics, the arts, peer leadership, and global travel.