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High school teacher and student talking in the quad

Service Learning

By fostering a spirit of service, Ensworth students experience the joy of impacting the world around them in meaningful ways while developing empathy and discovering their ability to make a positive difference in their community and beyond.

Service Learning is at the heart of the student experience at Ensworth, and it’s an integral part of the school’s mission and vision statements. Service Learning has been an important part of the high school experience since its founding. We have carefully structured our Service Learning program to provide our students with a wide variety of enriching experiences from Kindergarten through Grade 12. At each stage in their educational journey, our students work with nonprofits to foster a spirit of service, encouraging students to become lifelong contributors to society. Much of the success of the Service Learning program at Ensworth is attributed to the strength of our relationships with over 100 community partners—many of which we have served for decades. 

Bell Garden

Bell Garden is a community garden and education center in the heart of the Bellevue neighborhood with a long-standing partnership with our High School. They offer a myriad of classes for local students, including sustainability, gardening, and nutrition, and provide fresh food to local food banks. They are focused on building healthier, deeply connected communities through garden-based service, education, volunteerism, and food distribution to those in need. 

Bell Garden Service Learning Trip

Run almost entirely on volunteer support, Bell Garden is unique in that it offers students from each of our divisions the opportunity to engage in service learning projects. Lower School students will spend time during their Grade 2 Veggiecation curriculum learning about produce and visiting Bell Garden to learn how vegetables grow and clean up the gardens for our neighbors. 

Middle School students work with this community partner during their annual Grade 8 Service Week and High School students routinely connect with Bell Garden on several Service Days throughout the school year. From a relational perspective, students begin to develop friendships with the staff and other volunteers at Bell Garden. From an educational perspective, students deepen their understanding of the ways this nonprofit service work connects with their classroom learning. 




Harris Hillman

The Harris-Hillman School serves children with multiple disabilities ages 3 through 22 in Davidson County. Ensworth has partnered with Harris-Hillman for over 25 years on a variety of projects to help serve the needs of their students. 

Harris Hillman Service Learning

Our Grade 4 students work with Harris-Hillman three times throughout the year. The first visit is to perform a show, tour the school, and visit students in their classrooms. In the winter, Ensworth students go ice skating with Harris-Hillman students at the Centennial Sportsplex. Our students help skate and push the Harris-Hillman students in their wheelchairs around the rink. In the spring, our Grade 4 students serve in conjunction with a game day similar to the Special Olympics. Our students sing for the opening ceremonies and take Harris-Hillman students around to various games and activity stations or run the activities.

Our High School students also have numerous opportunities to serve with Harris-Hillman throughout the year. This fall, students spent time bowling with Harris-Hillman on Service Day and several of our High School Service Scholars have selected Harris-Hillman as their partner for ongoing service. 

Our service learning partnership with Harris-Hillman is one of the most impactful service opportunities we have—not because of the impact we have on them, but because of the impact they have on us. Our students learn to embrace people with differences and to truly serve the needs of others.Whitney EarhartGrade 4 Teacher and Grade Level Coordinator

The Bridge Nashville

Following in this same vein of connecting students across campuses through service is the work that we do with The Bridge Nashville. This organization works with those in our community facing food and housing insecurity. We have connection points with this community partner at all three divisions, which allows our students to study issues facing the Nashville community in different ways as they grow through their time at Ensworth. 

The Bridge Nashville Service Learning Trip

This fall, the High School partnered exclusively with The Bridge for our November Service Day, participating in a packing event for their Bridge to Kids program. In one day, students packed more than 6,000 meal bags to be distributed to Metro Nashville Public School students facing food insecurity when not in school. 

At the Lower and Middle School levels, students are also able to engage in hands-on service with The Bridge at their Nashville warehouse by assisting in meal packing programs and supply organization. 

The Bridge has been such a good experience for me. It’s wonderful to see the smiling faces of the families receiving the food, and I’m grateful to be a part of such an amazing organization!There are two ways I serve with The Bridge. Sometimes, I go to the warehouse to pack bags with household items and snacks that are later shipped out across Nashville to those in need; other times, I work at various Bridge outreach locations. I’ve worked with this organization since I was little, so it means a lot to continue this work with them at school.Reese Fogaros’24

Service Learning

Service Learning