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.

  • 3rd grade brings holiday cheer to the Scarlett Fund

    Thank you to the 3rd grade classes who made holiday cards for pediatric cancer patients and their families. 
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  • K-5 buddies make signs for compost and recycling

    In December, the Kindergarten and 5th grade buddies met to make signage for our dining room to raise awareness about items that can be composted and recycled. 
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  • 1st Grade Community Study in Spanish Class

    As part of their Community study, 1st graders are learning from Spanish speaking members of the Trinity community. 
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  • 2nd grade lends a hand at West Side Community Garden

    2F raked leaves and helped pack them for compost at our Community Circle partner West Side Community Garden
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  • 4RA visits MCC

    On December 12, 4RA made their monthly visit to Manhattan Childrens Center to visit their buddies. 
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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.