Service Learning

Habitat for Humanity Student Build

Since 2014, Carolina Day School students have raised funds and worked on building sites to sponsor an Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity home every two years. (Due to the pandemic, the 2020 student build was postponed to 2022.)

Involvement with Habitat for Humanity gives students an opportunity to nurture a love for their community and develop an awareness of the need for affordable housing. Students learn real-world skills and make a lasting impact.

“I chose to get involved in the Habitat for Humanity Student Build Program because it's a group that not only helps people all around the world, but also allows me the opportunity to help change a family's life from our own community for the better.” Hannah Matin '19

Student Build Projects

Habitat Key Passing Ceremony on May 11, 2022

Pictured: The 2022 Student Build key passing ceremony on May 11, 2022, with homeowners Gheorghe and Natalia and Carolina Day students.

The 2022 Student Build—a home for a family of seven—was sponsored by six local schools: Carolina Day, Asheville Christian Academy, Christ School, The Franklin School of Innovation, The Asheville School, and Nesbitt Discovery Academy. Students from all six schools raised $55k and worked alongside the couple building their home together. 


Carolina Day School completed our 2018 Student Build Project with Habitat for Humanity and students from partnering schools Asheville Christian Academy, Christ School, and Franklin School of Innovation. Each school raised funds for the build and contributed student time toward the construction. 


In 2016, Carolina Day School partnered with Asheville Christian Academy, Christ School, and the Franklin School of Innovation to build a house with Heidi Chapman and her two sons. The student build project began in October of 2016 and finished in February 2017.


In 2015, Carolina Day School partnered with Asheville Christian Academy and Christ School to build a house with Trish Wolfe and her two sons.



Service Learning for Younger Students

At Carolina Day School, teachers across all divisions integrated a study of homes and housing into the curriculum.

Middle/key middle School

While Upper School students worked on the Student Build, Middle and Key Middle School students participated in a companion CDS program called "Cats for Our Community" designed to bring the middle schools together for service learning, to emphasize the importance of shelter as a basic human need, and to build support for Upper School's Habitat project. Middle-schoolers participated in three sessions: working with an architect to design models of affordable housing, participating in a simulation of what it's like to apply for housing aid, and building simple woodworking projects (benches, bird feeders, etc.) for use at the partner family's new home and to sell to raise funds for the Student Build.

Lower School

Younger students learned about housing in an age-appropriate “Homes”-themed Week of Inquiry. This topic of homes was woven into the core curriculum throughout the week, providing all students grades PK/5 an opportunity to explore the topic together from many different angles and to learn and work from and with each other. The week featured guest speakers, tours of various homes (both on and off-campus), and authentic learning experiences. Inspiring curiosity, engaged learning, creativity, and collaboration were just a few of the goals of this week of deep learning along with the opportunity for authentic application of skills in math, reading, research, and more.