Community Service — List of Volunteer Opportunities UPDATE 10-13-17

Updated October 13, 2017… Click here for a list of current Volunteer Opportunities for 2017-18

  • The information contained herein is distributed by Suffolk Public Schools as a public service. The community service opportunities listed here from organizations outside of Suffolk Public Schools are not sponsored, endorsed, or in any way connected to Suffolk Public Schools or the Suffolk City School Board.

Suffolk Public Schools is committed to preparing our students with the skills they will need to adapt to a rapidly changing world. New local and state graduation requirements will be implemented for rising ninth grade students, beginning September 2013 and beyond.  The new requirements will contribute to and enhance our students’ ability to accomplish their educational, personal, and career goals.

Community Service
The community service requirement is designed to promote civic responsibility through active participation in service experiences, to enhance the students’ ability and desire to impact the community, to foster a sense of caring for others, and to develop a habit of volunteer service to those in need as a part of the College and Career Readiness initiative. Students must earn 50 hours of community service before graduation.

Read All about It …

Suffolk Public Library – Teen Zone Resources

The library makes it easier for teens to access resources to help with homework, find volunteer hour opportunities at the library, discover college prep resources , and connect with free classes and events.





Back-to-School Central

Find out bus schedules, orientation dates, school supply lists, and more.

Click on the headline to open this post.  Then click here for Back-to-School Central information page. 


Jump Start Your Summer Assignments

Get a jump start on your Summer 2017 reading lists and high school assignments.

Click on the headline of this post to open.

Then you can get to this live link: Click here for Summer Assignments.

Graduation to Stream Live on YouTube

Graduation 2017 on YouTube … Suffolk Public Schools is providing LIVE VIDEOSTREAMING of this year’s graduation ceremonies from the Ted Constant Center in Norfolk.

Any mobile device or computer with Internet connection should be able to view the YouTube streaming. At the time of the ceremony on Saturday, June 10, go to

  • Graduation ceremonies for Nansemond River High School will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 10 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk. This event is for ticketed guests only. Call the school at 923-5240 for more information.
  • Graduation ceremonies for Lakeland High School will be held at 12 noon Saturday, June 10 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk. This event is for ticketed guests only. Call the school at 923-4101 for more information.
  • Graduation ceremonies for King’s Fork High School will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 10 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk. This event is for ticketed guests only. Call the school at 925-5790 for more information.



Watch Here for Updated Info on 2017 Summer Learning Opportunities

Information will be updated here regularly to inform students about Summer Learning Opportunities for the Summer of 2017.  Many deadlines are just weeks away.


UPDATED May 9, 2017:

Old Dominion University / Cybersecurity & Computer Programming Summer Camp

Rising 6th- through 8th-graders … Funded by NASA and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium

Register by June 2.

Click here for the website.


ARDX Foundation – START (Smart Teens Accepting Responsibility Today

Paid summer internship for rising high school seniors in the Hampton Roads area.  Focus on real-world business experience, project management, customer service skills, and community service.

Sister Cities International

Sister Cities International welcomes students ages 14-18 to participate in the 2017 Youth Leadership Summit at the 61st
Annual Conference in Virginia Beach, VA from July 12-16!

Applications can be found at the following website:
Applications should be returned to the address below:
Suffolk Sister Cities International
P.O. Box 769
Suffolk, VA 23439
Transportation will not be provided for this event. Scholarship funds may be available and will be determined by the number of students who apply. Students may contact Maryanne Persons by email at for more information.
Suffolk, VA 23439

Virginia Tech – Engineering Summer Opportunities

The Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) at Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering is seeking to increase the numbers of students from under-represented groups who pursue and earn engineering degrees. While the deadlines for most of our programs have passed for 2017, there are still a few opportunities, including a new one with Legacy International. Please help us get the word out to your students about some of the pre-college engineering programs for middle to high school students offered at Virginia Tech.

  • TechGirls … In partnership with Legacy International, CEED operates the TechGirls program for high school girls coming from North Africa and the Middles East. Four US girls are invited to join these students in an 8-day coding class at Virginia Tech from July 16 – 25, 2017. All expenses are covered. Applications are due Friday, April 21 and are open to 15-17 year old girls who are US citizens. For more information and the application link go here:
  • PCI  (Pre-College Initiative) … PCI is co-sponsored by Virginia Tech’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), with the goal of increasing the number of African American students who are prepared to enter college, ideally majoring in engineering, math, science, and other technical disciplines. The program consists of a series of five daylong events held on Saturdays over the course of the academic year. Activities include lab tours, demonstrations, hands on activities and presentations designed to help students prepare for the college application process. Dates for the spring semester are February 25, March 18 and April 22, 2017. There is a one-time $10 registration fee when students apply. Transportation is not provided.
  • Imagination … Imagination, a one-week science and math camp for rising seventh and eighth graders, introduces participants to the exciting and fun world of technology, engineering, and science … not by watching, but by doing! There will be two sessions of this day camp:  July 10 – 14 and July 17 – 21. Free bus transportation is provided to and from Roanoke for the first session and to and from Martinsville for the second session. Cost is $150, but scholarships are available. While this is a day camp, we have students who stay with friends and family, rent/share hotel rooms or Airbnb, stay in RV’s and even camp! The deadline for application is April 28, 2017.

2017 Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute

The Institute is free to participants (high school students) and will be held June 26-30, 2017 at the University of Richmond.  Click here for the website with the application link. The deadline to submit an application is May 15, 2017.  If you have any questions, please contact the Co-Directors, Alicia Roberts and Christina Spratley, at

William & Mary Courses in Law for High School Students

The Center for Legal and Court Technology (CLCT), at the College of William & Mary Law School, in conjunction with the Center for Gifted Education at the William & Mary School of Education, provides interactive and thought-provoking classes for high school students.  Fred Lederer, Chancellor Professor of Law and Director, CLCT, exposes high school students to basic topics in law such as what is the law, how it is made, how judges can change the law, and how to resolve disputes.

Courses include Introduction to U.S. Law, Introduction to Torts, Introduction to Evidence, Introduction to U.S. Law, and Introduction to Search & Seizure.

Link to program info:

2017 Cybersecurity Summer Academy at NSU

The Information Assurance Research Education and Development Institute (IAREDI) at Norfolk State University is hosting a one week Cybersecurity summer academy for high school students (rising 9th through 12th graders), from June 19 – June 23, 2017. Camp hours are 9:00 am through 4:00 pm. The event is sponsored by the Department of Energy, and the goal of this program is to increase Cybersecurity awareness among high school students and introduce them to cyber security professions. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of cyber security professionals in the nation as currently the USA has a shortage of Cybersecurity professionals in the workplace.

Link to program info:

United States Naval Academy — Summer STEM Programs held June 2017 .. click for more info

For rising 9th, 10th, and 11th graders.  Application deadline is April 15.

Christopher Newport University’s Summer Humanities Instituteclick for more info

Application Deadline – March 15

Join Education Unlimited® for a residential summer program on a prestigious college campus this summer. Make lifelong memories with new and old friends, gain access to the very best instructors and learn from an exciting, dynamic curriculum not typically offered in school year institutions.

Link for more information:

TCC  is offering summer camps for grades 3-12.  Please see the link below for more information.

Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts offers 3 programs this summer for students ages 6 and up.  See the link below for more information.


Girls Inc. is sponsoring a co-ed summer camp in the Hampton Roads area.  See the link below for more information.


The Governor’s School for the Arts is hosting summer camps throughout the month of July.  Please see the link below for more information and costs.


The Big Blue Summer Camp is an 8-week day camp for boys and girls ages 6-12 and is an American Camp Association® accredited camp. Big Blue Summer Camp focuses on helping campers develop friendship skills, independence, teamwork, family citizenship, competence, interest in exploration, responsibility, affinity for nature and confidence in problem solving. Every week campers will participate in the following activities: swimming, rock-wall, arts & crafts, and general fun & games. Some weeks will include a field trip to some local attractions. See the link below for more information.


Hampton University is the setting for over 21 special programs during the summer. These programs provide valuable enrichment and academic opportunities for participants of all ages. Some programs are day camps and other are residential.  A fee may be required for some programs.  Please see the link below for more information about each program.


Summer STEAM is a free, one-week, residential academy intended to inspire and expose rising 6th-8th grade students drawn from across the Commonwealth of Virginia to STEAM content, applied learning, and leadership developing opportunities.


  • Governor’s School Summer Residential Academies for 2017 … click for more info
  • Each high school selects applicants before February 2017. 
  • BLAST 2017 Summer Program     … click for more info
    The Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST) Program goal is to increase students’ curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  The program is for current 8th and 9th graders with STEM interests who have a C+ or greater grade point average (2.3 or greater).  Participants may attend BLAST only one time.  There is no charge for either of the two three day programs which will tale place at Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech.  Applications are due by Feb. 6.  For more information, visit


Phillips Academy Andover Summer Session     This 5-week academic program takes place on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.  Participants may choose from among 60 courses.  Hybrid and online programs are also available.  For more information and to apply go to

Duke University Summer Session  2017     Current 10th and 11th graders may consider applying for this month-long summer session that will take place in July 2017.  For more information, visit the Duke University Summer Session 2017 website or contact Nicki Charles, Ed.D at

2017 High School Diplomats Program     Current sophomores and Juniors may apply for this 10-day “cultural exchange program”  that will take place on July 25th-August 5th on the campus of Princeton University.  For more information and to apply go to

Experiment Leadership Institute 2017     There are two opportunities:  1) India Public Health and Community Development; and 2) South Africa Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics, and Human Rights.  Both programs develop and enhance leadership skills, language skills, and problem-solving skills as well as cultivate global competency and a complex understanding of the world.  Both programs are fully funded and take place over a six-week period in the summer of 2017.  Rising seniors may apply but must not be older than 18 years old at the time of the exchange.  The application deadline is January 18th.  For more information go to or call 1-800-345-2929.

Experiment Summer Abroad 2017     There are 30 programs in 24 countries.  Two new programs are:  1) India Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Social Justice.  Participants will learn about modern and traditional healthcare practices and health care access. 2) Brazil Culture and Environmental Sustainability. Participating students learn about Brazil’s culture as well as about the opportunities and challenges facing sustainability and environmental conservation. Both programs develop and enhance leadership skills, language skills, and problem-solving skills as well as cultivate global competency and a complex understanding of the word.  The application deadline is January 18th.  For more information go to or call 1-800-345-2929.


Deadlines Expired:

New Course Interest Surveys

Attention students in Grades 7-11!  Your opinion is needed and very important to Suffolk Public Schools.  The school division is proposing two (2) new  Information Technology courses for next year, Computer Systems II with Cyber Security Infusion and Network Administration I with Cyber Security Infusion, and we need you to answer a very short survey.  The links to both surveys are posted below.  Please click and respond to these surveys.  Thank you!

Computer Systems II with Cyber Security Infusion

Network Administration I with Cyber Security Infusion

Librarians: The Original Search Engine

The month of April is School Library Month … The week of April 9-15 is National Library Week.

Wednesday, April 19 has been designated by Suffolk Public Schools as a day to tell your library media specialist : “Thanks for all you do!”


National Spokesperson

Andy Weir

Andy Weir, author of the New York Times best-seller “The Martian,” will serve as the national spokesperson for the 2017 celebration of School Library Month.

“In high school, I was the stereotypical nerdy, unpopular kid,” said Weir. “I got bullied a lot, in no small part because I was a smart aleck. The school library became my sanctuary. It was the one place I could go without encountering the bullies who would harass and belittle me. I’d read random encyclopedia entries—an early version of a ‘Wikipedia Wander.’ Libraries provide more than just knowledge. They provide a venue for learning and contemplation. I wouldn’t be who I am without that little school library and the shelter it provided me.”

NEW! Watch and share a new PSA from Andy.

2017 City-Wide Teachers of the Year Announced

Congratulations to Andrae Riddick, a special education teacher at King’s Fork High School, who has been selected as Suffolk Public Schools’ 2017 City-Wide Teacher of the Year.


Congratulations also to Emma Neave of John F. Kennedy Middle School, who was named Middle School Teacher of the Year … Natalie Street of Creekside Elementary School, who was named Elementary School Teacher of the Year … and Sabrina Hayes of John Yeates Middle School, who was selected as Rookie Teacher of the Year.


CW_TOY_KFHSNow in his fourth year of teaching, Riddick is known for his creativity, charisma, leadership, and teaching style.  But it is his connections with students that bring him the most praise from colleagues, and the most personal pride.  “I live by the saying that every child is just one caring adult away from being a success story,” Riddick said.


A 2006 graduate of Nansemond River High School, Riddick has worked at King’s Fork High School for six years – first as a special education paraprofessional and now as a classroom teacher.  He co-teaches geometry under the inclusion model, where students with special needs are included in a regular math class.  Colleagues said a classroom visitor would find it difficult to discern between him and the general education teacher because both work with all the students in the classroom as “true co-teachers.”  Riddick explained that he shows students how “geometry is not just a random math class they have to take,” but how geometry concepts are used every day.


Principal Dr. Ronald Leigh said Riddick’s role as the school’s Service Learning Coordinator is “where he has done his best work … where he has brought pride and distinction to our school through the outreach he has provided” to two local elementary schools.  Service Learning integrates academic work with community service, allowing students to apply classroom knowledge to real life by getting hands-on experience in the community.  This year, Riddick revived the “K9 Konnection” program through the Service Learning class he now teaches.  KFHS Bulldogs in this program volunteer weekly at Elephant’s Fork Elementary and Hillpoint Elementary as lunch buddies, classroom helpers, recess monitors, and role models for future Bulldogs.


Assistant Principal Kimberly Warholak said Riddick’s “commitment to success for his students is demonstrated on a daily basis when he uses his planning time to work one-to-one with students who are struggling academically or with students who are dealing with a social situation and need someone to listen and offer sound advice.”  Fellow teacher Brendy White added:  “He has been an influential part in the successful improvements of many students’ attendance, behavior, and overall attitude.  Being a mentor and positive male figure is very important in our school environment, as well as in the community, and he has taken on this challenge with great dignity and honor.”


Riddick earned his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University and his master’s degree from Old Dominion University.



MS_ TOYEmma Neave, an 8th-grade English teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School, has been named the 2017 Middle School Teacher of the Year for Suffolk Public Schools.  In the classroom for four years, Neave is known for her determination, leadership, and quiet but passionate enthusiasm for teaching.


A colleague said that Neave has a special ability “to take a struggling student and make them shine.  When a student leaves her room, they know they have learned and accomplished way more than they thought they ever could.” According to a current student who also had Neave in 7th-grade:  “Each and every lesson that takes place in our classroom is dynamic and stimulating … She effectively teaches us everything we need to know and more.”


Principal Vivian Covington said Neave is “the type of person that would never draw attention to herself or to the work she has completed over the years … a testament to her humble countenance.”


In describing her teaching philosophy, Neave said she firmly believes “every individual has the ability to learn, and as educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that each child has the proper scaffolding, support, tools, and encouragement to reach their full potential.  Every student is smart in their own way, and it is up to the teacher to draw upon each students’ strengths while helping them improve in areas of weakness.”


She wrote in her application:  “No one is in teaching for the monetary or material rewards, which we know are few.  Instead, I find my joy in the intrinsic rewards of teaching.  Many days are a struggle with multiple forces that threaten to derail my students.  I have learned to find my peace in the small victories:  a special needs student’s explosive joy at achieving mastery on a benchmark test, being able to write feedback on a student’s writing that shows remarkable growth, or a comment from a colleague that my students were raving about a recent lesson.”


Beyond the classroom, she mentors new teachers and sponsors the Junior Beta Club.  Neave earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sweet Briar College.



TOY+BrennanNatalie Street, a third-grade teacher at Creekside Elementary, has been named the 2017 Elementary School Teacher of the Year for Suffolk Public Schools.  In the classroom for eight years, she is known for her dedication and optimism, and has been called a natural born leader.


A colleague applauded Street’s high standards for all students in her class, while also creating a positive, family atmosphere in her classroom:  “She doesn’t allow excuses by students for not meeting or exceeding goals.  Her organizational skills, thoroughness, and willingness to collaborate with colleagues makes her the perfect teacher leader.”


In describing her efforts to show that learning can be fun, Street says she’s taught on top of tables, done cartwheels down the hall, spoken in funny accents, “made fun of myself, said I’m sorry a thousand times, and even cried with my students.  I’ve told students my hardships and mistakes, while teaching them how to set goals and overcome mistakes.  My philosophy of teaching is expressed through using a motivating balance of engagement, strong work ethic, and a sense of belonging.”


A parent said that Street “not only taught my son the third grade curriculum, she taught him that learning was fun, and the harder you work the bigger the reward.  She taught him that a great work ethic and mastering the fundamentals will make you a success at anything you do.”


Street has worked hard to rebuild the Suffolk Reading Council, an organization dedicated to the promotion of literacy in schools and the community, and currently serves as its president.  The Council has hosted two Saturday mini-conferences for local teachers and sponsored a division-wide book drive to donate books to homeless shelters, day care centers, and doctors’ offices.


Beyond the classroom, Street sponsors the Gator Gardening Club, helping students learn about plants first-hand as they work in the community garden at their school.


Street earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University, and her master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, Maryland.



Rookie_tOY2Congratulations to Sabrina Hayes, an 8th-grade English teacher at John Yeates Middle School, who has been named the 2017 City-Wide Rookie Teacher of the Year.


Hayes started in January 2016, taking over for a teacher who left.  A veteran teacher told her “there is only one first-year of teaching.”  Hayes said that advice “served as a constant reminder for me to establish a solid baseline for the following years to come, and to learn as much as I could.  I knew that going into the first year of teaching would have a number of daunting barriers and challenges, but going into the middle of the school was difficult. It forced me to adapt and overcome quickly.”


Principal Shawn Green said Hayes is “highly motivated, reliable, and always willing to extend beyond what is expected of her.” Because of her youth, she quickly become a peer leader in instructional technology, helping her colleagues get comfortable with the school’s new “Bring Your Own Device” program.  This option allowed students to use mobile technology for learning.


A fellow teacher said Hayes “created a comfortable but structured atmosphere in which students can learn, and a very positive but professional relationship with her students.  They feel comfortable coming to her with concerns or problems and she is kind and firm with them as a teacher, not a ‘friend’ which is difficult for many first-year teachers to accomplish.”


According to one of Hayes’ students: “It is painstakingly obvious that she loves teaching, which inspires others to learn because of how passionate she sounds when teaching.  She tells us that she could never see herself doing anything else.”


Beyond the classroom, Hayes sponsors the student recycling club and started an after-school writing club.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University.

It’s Not Rocket Science? But Wait, It Is

Current 6th- and 7th-graders interested in a free week this summer at NASA Space Camp should apply now.  Northrup Grumman Foundation is sponsoring two (2) students from Suffolk Public Schools.  The application deadline is March 17, 2017.

Here’s all the information:



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