Service Learning Program

The Luke Center highlights several themes throughout the course of the school year, focusing the entire campus on particular areas of need. Within these themes, students of all ages get involved in a variety of ways, including direct service projects, classroom activities, education and advocacy. The themes are also reinforced in the school's chapel program, where students have the chance to explore them with a deeper understanding.

Learning About Community Resources


As part of the Aloha United Way campaign, students have the opportunity to learn more about the many agencies serving our community every day.


  • Aloha United Way 211: Aloha United Way 211 is a searchable online database of social service agencies in Hawaii. The list is compiled and maintained by Aloha United Way.
  • AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps the domestic Peace Corps, engages more than 50,000 Americans in intensive, results-driven service each year.
  • Citizen Corps: Citizen Corps is a broad network of volunteer efforts that harnesses the power of the American people by relying on their individual skills and interests to prepare local communities to effectively prevent and respond to the threats of terrorism, crime or any kind of disaster.
  • Do Something: Do Something offers extensive resources for educators and students who want to start or strengthen leadership initiatives at their schools.
  • Helping Hands Hawaii: Helping Hands Hawai'i connects individuals, families and organizations with available resources, both human and material.
  • Kidlink: Kidlink empowers kids and youth with free educational programs to give them better control over their lives, help them mature, get friends, create social networks and collaborate with peers around the world individually or through their classrooms.
  • National Senior Service Corps: National Senior Service Corps is proud of the more than half a million volunteers ages 55 and older who serve through the Foster Grandparent, RSVP and Senior Companion Programs.
  • Points of Light Institute: Points of Light Institute's mission is to engage more people more effectively in volunteer community service to help solve serious social problems.
  • Volunteer Match: Volunteer Match is the nonprofit, online service that helps interested volunteers get involved with community service organizations throughout the United States.
  • Youth Service Hawaii: Youth Service Hawaii supports the efforts of teachers, students and community organizations in their development of service learning through programs that build capacity and a lasting infrastructure for service learning practice in the state.

Exploring Issues of Hunger and Homelessness

October – November 

Students learn about root causes of hunger and homelessness and consider long-term solutions to these local and global problems. 

Canned Food Drive

Imagine having to choose between buying groceries and paying your water or electricity bill. Unfortunately this describes a very real situation faced by many Hawai`i families on a regular basis.

Each fall the Punahou community is asked to open their hearts and their cupboards by donating nonperishable food items. And each fall, our community rises to the challenge. By donating food, we feed others and hopefully reduce some of the problems and anxiety caused by having to choose between basic life necessities like running water or food.

The annual food drive at Punahou School is an important component of the Hunger and Homelessness schoolwide service theme. Through this theme, which takes place each October and November, teachers and students are encouraged to connect hunger and homelessness to what is happening in the classroom.

The Journey of the Can

The issue of hunger in America affects our whole community and it is the responsibility of everyone to find a solution. This video was created by Punahou freshman and "Luke Leader" Alayna, to educate children about this issue and to inspire them to take action. Follow the journey of a single can as it travels from the donation table at a canned food drive into the hands of someone who needs it.


  • World Food Day: Resources for a day when people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime.
  • Cool Food: A multilingual interactive web site on nutrition and healthy lifestyles for youth.
  • The World Bank for Schools: An educational web site for teachers and students providing curricular materials, data, projects, research and resources on world issues.
  • Kids Can Make a Difference: An educational program for middle and high school students and teachers on the causes of hunger and poverty, affected populations and possible solutions and actions.
  • World Hunger Notes: A web site with news, information, resources and links on world hunger.
  • Global TeachNet Program: An educational web site providing resources for teachers K-12 to promote knowledge, understanding and respect for different people, cultures and nations.
  • Associated Schools Project Network: The web site of the UNESCO ASPnet, including 6,700 educational institutions in 166 countries, providing information on projects, school activities, publications and the ASPnet newsletter.
  • OneWorld: A multilingual web site with news and views from over 1,500 worldwide partner organizations working in Human Rights and Sustainable Development providing comprehensive daily coverage of global issues.
  • National Coalition of Homeless: Books, videos and web sites useful to elementary school students and teachers to study about homelessness.

Giving Back During the Holidays


Through annual holiday service activities like Alternative Gift Giving and the Holiday Adoption Program, students are reminded that giving is often better than receiving.

Alternative Gift Giving

One way that a portion of the community explores this concept is through Alternative Gift Giving (AGG). In an attempt to de-emphasize material gifts, students in grades 7 – 12 are given the opportunity to donate to nonprofit agencies in honor of teachers, friends and family.

Each year, student leaders at the Luke Center determine which agencies will receive AGG donations. Those agencies address a wide range of community needs including hunger and homelessness, literacy, child and elderly needs, the environment and animals.

The 2014 AGG supported the following organizations:

  • Hawai`i Meals on Wheels
  • O`ahu SPCA
  • Institute for Human Services (IHS)
  • Life Foundation
  • Good Beginnings Alliance Hawaii


Holiday Adoption Program

While nonmaterial gifts are valuable to the community, another alternative way to give back is by helping to fulfill holiday wishes. Through the Holiday Adoption Program, Luke Center provides the Punahou community with wish lists from children and families in need of some traditional holiday cheer.

Advancing Literacy

February – March 

Students learn about the value of reading and writing in daily life, and the importance of advancing opportunities for literacy in the broader community.

Book Drive

Each year, teachers and students are encouraged to connect the theme of Advancing Literacy to what is happening in the classroom, and to participate in the annual book drive. The Luke Center collects, sorts and boxes the donated books, which are then distributed to local organizations that put the books into the hands of those who might not otherwise have access to such resources. Past recipients of the donations include Naalehu Elementary School on the Big Island, Hawai`i Literacy, Teach for America, Read Aloud America and Kokua Kalihi Valley.


  • America's Literacy Directory: America's Literacy Directory is an easy-to-use online searchable database that refers potential learners and volunteers to literacy programs in their areas.
  • Hawaii Literacy: Hawaii Literacy is dedicated to helping people gain knowledge and skills by providing literacy and life long learning services.
  • International Reading Association: The International Reading Association is a professional organization dedicated to promoting high levels of literacy for all by improving the quality of reading instruction, disseminating research and information about reading, and encouraging the lifetime reading habit.
  • Literacy Center.Net: Literacy Center.Net provides safe learning activities for parents and teachers to share with young children. All online lessons are free of advertising and free of charge.
  • Literacy Connections: Literacy Connections provides a wealth of information on reading, teaching and tutoring techniques, ESL literacy and adult literacy. Provides useful resources for teacher and volunteers.
  • The Literacy Site: The Literacy Site was founded to help promote literacy among children from low-income families nationwide. Visit once a day to donate free books to children.
  • National Center for Family Literacy: National Center for Family Literacy envisions a world where every child in every community receives the literacy support he or she needs from responsible, caring adults in order to succeed in school and in life.
  • Read, Write, Think: Read, Write, Think provides educators and students access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.
  • Reach Out and Read: Reach Out and Read is a national, non-profit organization that promotes early literacy by making books a routine part of pediatric care.
  • Read Aloud America: Read Aloud America is a Hawai`i-based program that promotes literacy, bonds families and builds communities of lifetime readers.

Stewardship of the Environment

April – May 

Students learn how to better care for our island home and the sea that surrounds us. 

See Sustainability Fair


Chandra Peters 
Administrative Coordinator 808.943.3609 Tel