At NSCD, "Live and Serve" is more than just a motto—it's something our students embrace in their learning and embody through their action. For nearly a century, our service program has fostered student ownership and leadership.

In classes, teachers implement service learning, a practice that links classroom learning and service activities to empower students as ethical citizens. Other projects are student driven, taking place outside the classroom through student government, clubs or other activities. We endeavor to build strong, reciprocal relationships with our service partners. And our students are encouraged to see service as a lifelong endeavor that prepares them to become "self-confident, ethical citizens of the world," described in our mission. 

History of "Live and Serve"

The school's first brochure, printed for the 1920-1921 school year, discussed the Country Day School Plan and expressed the importance of the grounds, "with beautiful old trees, masses of shrubbery and stretches of lawn" that provided the "ideal surroundings for child development. With social activities as a center, a small community is formed, in which each member is encouraged to realize individual responsibility in the life of the larger community."

In 1923, students chose the simple words "Live and Serve" as the school motto.

Drea Gallaga
Director of the Live+Serve Laboratory; Upper School Social Studies Teacher

Examples of "Live and Serve" Projects

Service Programs

At North Shore, our service programs start with a question about hope and purpose: How can our students and teachers co-create a world where our work is meaningful, where we develop true partnerships with other people and communities, and where we face our days ready to tackle the most pressing problems the world presents to us? With this question and our school’s motto of “Live and Serve” always as our guides, our students engage in service in a variety of ways, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Live+Serve Lab


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Service Learning &
  Community Service


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By the Numbers



Number of hours of service performed in 2019-2020


organizations students served


years of service


students who performed service in 2020-2021