Joyful Service In Support of Community and Mission

Danny Stock

This May, Lower School students joined the Community Engagement & Experiential Learning (CEEL) Office for optional grade-level, hands-on remote service projects. “I think I speak for our office when I say that these sessions have been a bright spot each week,” said CEEL program associate Leigh Tait. The projects were entirely contained within an hour-long session, led in full by the school, and facilitated by High School student leaders. 

The PKK students made cards for the GDS Maintenance and Cleaning teams, who have worked incredibly hard to keep the school buildings clean and organize our move to the new building on our unified campus. Third graders wrote their cards to postal workers. The 3rd grade participants found this remote service opportunity familiar as they had previously written letters of gratitude to essential workers in harm’s way during homeroom writer’s workshop.

The 5th graders mailed letters to seniors from around the country who had come forward to say they were lonely and wanted a penpal. The 1st graders learned a joyful dance from the High School Fata Morgana dancers to perform over Zoom. The final group of 4th graders each made two or three dog toys for donation to the Humane Rescue Alliance.

Leigh said “Our Lower School students could teach us all a thing or two about optimism and empathy in the face of adversity. We've been grateful to get to spend a few afternoons with them, and we're excited about the possibility of expanding these grade-level projects to include more Lower School hands and voices next school year.”

Lower School principal Kimberly Beck agreed, “Everything about this made me smile. [The summaries, pictures, and dance video] are inspiring and humbling. You said it best—we can learn A LOT from our youngest Hoppers! Looking forward to continued partnership and expanding on the successes of this year.”

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