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Harpeth Hall School

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Public Purpose

Service is a critical component of the Harpeth Hall mission.

Public Purpose at Harpeth Hall prepares students in and out of the classroom to think critically about local and global issues and inequities. The program is designed to help students in 5th through 12th grades acquire the skills and knowledge required to meaningfully and ethically engage with large-scale problems and actively effect change.




Public Purpose teaches girls ...

to think critically
Through engaging and meaningful service, students learn to work effectively with other people and organizations. They also learn more about themselves, uncovering skills, interests, talents, and beliefs.

to lead confidently
Service work provides new perspective and develops empathy which are critical qualities for effective and confident leadership.

to live honorably
Exposure to organizations that effectively do good, and to people who face problems to be solved, increases an awareness of and appreciation for the diversity of the human condition.

Middle School

Each year, middle school students take part in service and leadership days through which concepts introduced in the classroom are applied to hands-on, meaningful activities in our community. Our 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students participate in group service activities on and off campus. In 8th grade, each girl identifies an area of need that interests her and finds ways to serve that compliment her individual talents and passions.

Each service experience includes a:

  • Learning component: Students contemplate and research the "why" behind the service they are doing and the agency they are serving
  • Leadership component: Students are called to demonstrate their leadership skills throughout the day

Upper School

As students transition in to the upper grades, they assume more independence and greater responsibility for the ways in which they engage with issues beyond our campus. The Public Purpose program guides students to find meaningful service projects that complement their passions and talents. 

Projects focus on the following issue areas:

  • Basic Needs
  • Developmental Impact
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Equality and Empowerment
  • Education
  • Health and Wellness
  • Humanitarian Aid

Lwala Community Alliance

Harpeth Hall and Lwala Community Alliance created a strategic partnership in 2011 to support wholeness of life in Lwala, a rural village in Western Kenya, and to provide learning and service opportunities for Harpeth Hall students. The Harpeth Hall community, driven by the student body, has committed to raising $8,000 per year to fund the Lwala Maternal/Child Health Initiative. Through the Initiative, Harpeth Hall supports community health workers to track every pregnant woman and child under age 5 in the Lwala catchment area. This helps provide prenatal care, safe deliveries, child vaccinations, and nutritional support.

Members of the middle school service club (Care Bears) and 7th and 8th grade enrichment classes knit baby hats. These hats, along with baby socks, a towel and other incentives, are included in kits that are given to all new mothers who attend at least four prenatal care appointments.

The annual upper school Dodgeball Tournament has become our cornerstone fundraiser for the Lwala Maternal/Child Initiative. Through this fun, inclusive event, students from across Middle Tennessee come together to enjoy a day of dodgeball and stand with Harpeth Hall in our commitment to strengthening women's and children's health across the globe. We are honored to do our part to empower Lwala mamas.

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Public Purpose Experiences

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Meet the Coordinators


Harpeth Hall develops responsible citizens who have global perspectives and make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world.

— Harpeth Hall mission excerpt

Jessie Adams

Jessie Adams

Upper School
Public PurposeĀ and Community Engagement Coordinator

Katie King

Katie King

Middle School
Public Purpose Coordinator