Gifted children have a strong sense of justice and demonstrate empathy for others and a compassion for animals and nature. Community service is an integral part of the learning opportunities at Ricks Center. Students learn they can make a difference, no matter how old, and realize their power to do good in their local community and around the world. As with other aspects of the curriculum, community service is often woven into the unit of study and driven by student interest. For example, a class studying architecture learned about the Salvation Army's canstruction event. The class designed and built an American flag out of cans donated by students throughout the school. Another class, studying circus, learned about the plight of retired circus animals and raised money to donate to a wildlife sanctuary. Students studying natural disasters may gather materials to stuff backpacks for displaced children. Others may raise awareness of injustices in another country through skits.
Every year, Ricks Center hosts a Kids Who Care Week. Students set up booths in support of their chosen charities and solicit items or money from fellow students. This week encourages students to share individual passions, support community services, and learn about various organizations.
Ricks Center Student Council - run by students in 3rd through 8th grade - chooses one or two charities a year to support. For example, students may have "penny wars" to support an animal support group or gather supplies for Project Hope. These projects are student-driven and often relate to current crises somewhere in the world.