Community service is woven into the curriculum and is an important component of many student organizations. The Montgomery Plan, a club devoted entirely to service, has students involved in a range of activities, from collecting trash on the Mississippi riverfront on a day off school to performing for senior citizens on Sunday afternoons.
Burroughs has always encouraged its students to act in effective and positive ways for the good of all. We believe that the school's role is to nurture a caring spirit. Genuine sensitivity to the needs of others should come from inside, not be dictated by graduation requirements.
While several grade-level activities are incorporated into the curriculum, the bulk of community service is extracurricular and entirely voluntary. Many of the more than four dozen clubs at the school incorporate community service projects into their activities, and the Montgomery Plan, a student organization devoted entirely to motivating Burroughs students to become engaged volunteers in their community, is one of the most active clubs on campus.
There is no service requirement for graduation. And yet, in recent years, more than half of the senior class has met the Montgomery Plan guidelines and graduated with community service recognized on their high school transcripts. The total voluntary hours of community service for a graduating class (about 100 students) has ranged from 10,000 to 18,000 hours — all contributed to the greater St. Louis area and completed outside of school. Most of the voluntary community service is arranged by the individual student and done in the summers or over school breaks. Burroughs students volunteer at a wide variety of charitable, educational, environmental and cultural institutions, ranging from the Muscular Dystrophy summer camp to the Science Center.
Click here to visit the Montgomery Plan web site and learn more about community service at Burroughs.
About Gaylord C. Montgomery
The Montgomery Plan for voluntary community service was named for its creator, Gaylord C. Montgomery, who was a member of the Burroughs faculty for 37 years. Mr. Montgomery was a math teacher, soccer coach, summer school director and author of 24 math and science books. He promoted the concept that students should take an active role in community affairs. He thought the involvement and interaction of students outside their own environment would help them better understand and empathize with those who did not have the remarkable advantages of a Burroughs student. He also believed that to reach full personal benefit, the participation should be voluntary.
The four-decade old program remains true to Mr. Montgomery’s vision and is an integral part of the Burroughs experience.