Punahou School has a long history of service to the community, with a mission that commits the school to "affirm the worth and dignity of each individual" and to "appreciate cultural diversity and develop social responsibility." As a result, Punahou students in grades K-12 are exposed to service in a variety of ways. They have many opportunities to participate in traditional community service or volunteer through teams, classes, clubs or as individuals. In addition, many students take classes that incorporate a service learning component.
Service learning takes place when the service to the community is intentionally and closely linked to what the students are learning in the classroom. All Punahou students, in their senior year, are required to take a course that includes community service. Through this course they are given time in their schedules to volunteer at various agencies in our community. Aside from taking this course, Punahou students are encouraged to participate in service, but are not required to do so in order to graduate.
In 2002, President James Scott proposed the creation of an entity to coordinate, support and enhance service campus-wide. The Luke Center for Public Service is a K-12 resource center on the Punahou campus that focuses on service.