On Friday, September 30, both the upper and middle schools stepped away from the classroom and practiced learning through community service.
The Upper School’s annual Community Service Day is a chance for students to get off campus to bond with their classmates and teachers through community service. Ninth grade students helped with animals at Tikkun Farm in Mt. Healthy; 10th grade students sorted various supplies at Matthew 25: Ministries in Blue Ash, 11th grade students spent time with students at Stepping Stones and sorting clothes at GLAM; and 12th grade students cleaned up Ault Park.
“I sorted paint at Matthew 25 to check paint donations to see which buckets were good and which had gone bad, then we packed up the good paint for Matthew 25 to distribute to people and places in need,” said Lee Thomas ‘25. “It seems small to sort paint all day but it showed me that people really have a need for everything, even things I don’t think about like a bucket of paint. I was happy to have this opportunity to give back.”
Called "Make a Difference Day" in the Middle School, students participated in community service projects both off and on campus in the morning and gathered in the afternoon to present and share their projects. Fifth grade students made blankets and placemats for local nursing homes; 6th grade students participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk in Loveland; and 7th and 8th grade students went to various locations – some went to SEM Food Pantry in Mt. Washington, where they unloaded and processed donations, helped customers with their purchases, and stocked the shelves, while others volunteered with animals at MADD-OAR Ohio Alley Cat Rescue and ARF.
“I had a lot of fun with the rest of my fifth grade class at our first Make a Difference Day,” said Nessie Vaughan ‘30. “We were making blankets and I didn’t realize how many people around us needed blankets. We made a lot which means a lot of people who didn’t have any now have one.”
Other 8th grade students visited the Linden Grove School in Deer Park, which aims to provide an alternative educational program for students with autism and related learning needs. The students learned about autism spectrum disorder, participated in activities to gain a better understanding of autism, visited classes with their student hosts, and shared some free time with their new friends.
The 235 Upper School students who participated in the Upper School’s Community Service Day volunteered 1,175 total hours. All 215 students in the Middle School participated in Make a Difference Day, which is a tradition dating back 30 years.