Meaningful opportunities: Community service for ARHS students and mentoring for 3rd and 4th graders

Whether a Southborough teen is looking to make a contribution or hoping to boost a college application, these programs are worth looking at: the Community Action Program and Big Friends.

Big Friends is also a great program for 3rd and 4th graders who can benefit from a role model.

Both of these are made possible by Southborough Youth and Family Services.

These activities count as community service hours. So students are rewarded 3.0 school credits after 60 hours.

Community Action Program (CAP)

Algonquin boasts 30 active student members to this organization. It is supported by both Northborough and Southborough Youth and Family Services.

Teens are called on to provide services to both communities. 

Service activities include (but aren’t restricted to):

  • mentoring gifted math students in grade 5
  • assisting at risk middle school students with school projects and homework afterschool
  • providing an extra pair of hands at Southborough Extended Day Program
  • assisting senior citizens with technology (cell phones, tablets, skype, e-readers, and computers).

The only requirement to being in CAP is willingness to help others and time. (Sports can be a timing conflict as most activities are directly after school.)

The faculty advisor for this program is Eileen Palmer. Students can talk to her at school or e-mail questions to

Big Friend Program – ARHS students mentoring 3rd to 4th graders

This program is actually part of CAP.

Volunteers pair Algonquin student with 3rd and 4th graders from Woodward and Neary. The purpose is allow children to bond with older mentors.

These special friendships can be wonderful for the spirit and confidence of both the Big and Little Friends.

“Big Friends” are selected through an application and interview process.

Applicants are chosen who have traits appropriate for a good friend and role model. Staff matches the Big and Little Friends based on personality, energy, and interests.

20130924-project-friend-250Once a week, Little and Big Friends meet in a supervised setting. The Friends might do arts and crafts, play games or sports, or just have a good chat.

Please contact Elizabeth Howard before October 18 for more information and to receive an application by mail. Call 508-481-5676 ext. 3 or e-mail

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