GIVE Service Learning Program


GIVE is a student-run Service Learning program in which students perform service and take classes to help them reflect on that service.

GIVE is an acronym for the Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence, a former state initiative designed to encourage service learning in high schools. GIVE has been in operation at Scotia-Glenville since the early 1980s.

GIVE brings students together to share their reflection and service experiences, helping them to make real choices, solve real problems, and keep real commitments.

The program demands that students connect their academic learning to an expanded awareness of the outside world, including the needs of the elderly, the poor, and the environment.


What are the requirements?

Each GIVE participant must attend three connection classes each quarter.  Most connection classes take place on Wednesdays during school in room B2.

Who needs to attend connection classes?

Every GIVE participant must attend the required amount of classes to remain in GIVE.

What if I can’t attend connection classes?

There are plenty of independent connection options that you can do on your own at home. Many connection classes are available online.  Information is available in the GIVE office.


  • Adaptive Sports: Students volunteer on weekends with the Tops Soccer, STRIDE Tennis, and Fast Break Basketball programs helping youths with disabilities participate in sports.
  • ARC: Groups of students spend one evening per week at group homes for the mentally challenged.  They play games, create crafts, and establish and maintain good friendships with home residents.
  • Bear Hugs: Students meet weekly with community elders to knit hats and sweaters for teddy bears.  The bears are then dressed and hugged at ARC group homes, senior housing or nursing homes.  The finished bears are donated to individuals who are experiencing difficult times and loss.
  • Beverage Recycling: GIVE students coordinate the recycling of beverage bottles and cans throughout the school.  Students meet twice a month to collect and sort.
  • Bridge to Friendship: Students visit elders at Baptist Retirement Center every other Sunday afternoon to play games, share activities and make friends.
  • Brothers: High school students interact with Sacandaga Elementary School students who may need a friend.
  • Buddies: Groups of dedicated students spend at least one study hall per week assisting in the High School’s BOCES classroom.
  • Holyrood: Students visit the Holyrood House for adults once per week after school.  They plan and carry out a variety of activities with the elders.
  • Homework Helpers: GIVE members help students at Sacandaga Elementary School with their homework twice per week after school.  They form lasting relationships as they see the growth they foster.
  • Library Helpers: Students volunteer once a week at the Sacandaga Elementary School library.
  • Mission Meals: Students visit the City Mission every other week to serve the Community Meal and interact with those who need a nutritious meal and a friendly face.
  • Mission Treats: Students prepare desserts to be served at the City Mission Community Meal by those in the Mission Meals program.
  • Reading Buddies: On Tuesday and Wednesday right after school students walk to the Sacandaga Elementary School and read one-on-one to kindergarten students until they are dismissed at 3:05 p.m.
  • Recycling: GIVE students coordinate a year round school wide paper-recycling program.
  • Regional Food Bank: Twice a month, students go to the Regional Food Bank in Latham to help sort and package food.
  • Sisters: High school students interact with Sacandaga Elementary School students who may need a friend.
  • STEP: Volunteers care for the horses in the STEP program and assist the special needs individuals in the therapeutic horseback riding lessons.
  • Special Events: Volunteers help in numerous school and community activities throughout the year including, Toys for Tots, Dinner with Santa, Holiday Hunger Appeal, Fabulous Fridays and many more.
  • Special Friends: GIVE students work with teenage students with mild developmental disabilities at the Middle School.
  • Sunnyview: Students visit a local rehabilitation facility to work with children and young adult residents weekly.
  • Warm Welcome: Students pair up with new high school students to help them transition to SGHS.

Still have questions about GIVE?

Contact GIVE Coordinator Joyce Semerad at for more information.  The GIVE office telephone number is (518) 386-4357/(518) 347-3600, ext. 66101.