Giving Back – School Outfitters Blog Furnishing Great Places To Learn Fri, 05 Feb 2016 21:51:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 School Outfitters and DePaul Cristo Rey Partner for Internships Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:38:17 +0000 School Outfitters is proud to start its second year of internships with DePaul Cristo Rey, a college preparatory high school in Cincinnati.

Four students, one from each high school grade, will split time between class and working at School Outfitters in departments ranging from Accounting to Marketing to Customer Relations.

“We support DePaul Cristo Rey because it gives students valuable experience in the real world, something all educational programs should strive to do. Plus, the kids are fun to have around,” says School Outfitters President Tom Brennan.

Expectations are high for the interns, as last year’s interns were quick learners. New this year, the students will also work with School Outfitters’ Analytics department to evaluate web traffic and customer searchengine behaviors, two major components of modern commerce.

School Outfitters’ mission is to help educators prepare people for the future. Its partnership with DePaul Cristo Rey is an extension of that, an opportunity to influence the lives of students directly.

Beyond learning skills important for the office, the goal is to instill the interns with confidence. “We are here to empower these students with the tools that they need to succeed here at SO and help them learn to apply these skills…in future positions,” says Brooke Ball, a School Outfitters employee who will be coaching the students.

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Benefits of Service Learning Wed, 19 Oct 2011 16:24:03 +0000 Two months after my college graduation, I packed my car and drove across the country to be part of a national service program. It was one of the best experiences of my life; I made wonderful friends with adventurous and community-minded teammates, I worked with beautiful children who needed attention and support, and I gained both a feeling of self-worth for having done something important and an appreciation for service and volunteerism that otherwise would’ve passed me by. Which leads me to wonder: How prevalent is service learning in school today?

Image courtesy of

Of course, service learning as taught in schools does not involve gathering your belongings and moving great distances. Defined by the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, it is “a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities”. Essentially: It’s a way for students to interact with the world in a context framed by academics. For instance, an elementary class studying waterways might take part in a riverfront cleanup, and then regroup to discuss the effects of pollution on the environment.

Data shows undeniable benefits. Several studies even report that service learning increases academic achievement. One, An Assessment of Civic Engagement and Educational Attainment writes that students who participated in voluntary community service (a beneficial side effect) achieved higher scores in reading, math, science and history than students who participated in required service. And students who were required to serve performed better than those who completed no service at all. Furthermore, and perhaps most impressively, the academic benefits are unbounded by racial lines – a disparity the education system has been battling for some time now. And let’s not forget that more and more, colleges are looking for students with well-rounded experiences rather than sky-high test scores.

But the benefits of service learning extend beyond the classroom; not only can it be a creative and engaging way to supplement a lesson plan or pad a high schooler’s college application, it can have holistic effects, as well. Take the college applicant: Having had the opportunity to see how various subjects are applied in the “real world” likely gives him a head start in determining what course of study to follow post-high school. And for students of all ages, service learning is an introduction to the world; a chance to see what’s out there and who needs help and what they can do to make it better. It provides what every teacher strives to offer: a feeling of self-worth and importance.

For an overwhelming list of the benefits of service learning, read the Impacts of Service Learning on Participating K-12 Students.

Does your school practice service learning? Have you noticed the effects? Tell us by commenting below.

Community Care Day at Camp Joy Tue, 14 Dec 2010 15:00:36 +0000 This past Thursday, a team of us spent the day working together at Camp Joy Education Center through United Way’s Community Care Days. This program allows employees to build teamwork and morale, but more importantly, perform hands-on work to improve lives and create lasting change in our community. Although it was a cold Ohio day, we had a great time pitching in together – completing many tasks like stacking firewood, assembling bunk beds and cleaning out Joy’s maintenance barn.

camp joy - The team next to the barn camp joy - The team taking a break after moving firewood camp joy - Reinforcing bunk beds with dowels camp joy - Organizing supplies in the new barn

School Outfitters is grateful for the opportunity to help out the folks at Camp Joy and contribute the Center’s mission of “helping people grow and succeed through life-long, experience-based learning.”

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