Winsor offers students a range of community service opportunities, from tutoring at a local elementary school to running an exercise program for seniors. The choice is up to the girls; the school doesn’t require service. The fact that so many students get passionately involved reflects their generous-mindedness.
Community service activities for Lower School students are initiated and organized by Parents’ Association volunteers. Reva Fischman P’15, the PA liaison for community service & communications, explains that the program’s goal is to provide Lower School students and parents with a way to get to know each other better in a fun, productive, age-appropriate setting, while introducing the girls to community service learning and leadership.
The girls have an opportunity to participate in a number of activities. To introduce students to the idea of service learning, the Parents’ Association organizes an event each fall. In December, representatives from Cradles to Crayons, Greater Boston Food Bank, and Horizons for Homeless Children speak with students about what they do, why it is important and what the girls can do to help.
In January, the Parents’ Association organizes a one day service event for the students. Class I will prepare a meal for the Pine Street Inn and deliver it, Class II will do a Lego project for MIT, Class III works at the Greater Boston Food Bank, Class IV will read to pre-school aged children.
Spring service activities include Winsor’s annual all-school Pine Street Inn Chop-a-Thon in early March. Students collect hundreds of pounds of vegetables and spend a morning at Pine Street preparing the vegetables for some of the 1,200 meals Pine Street serves every day. Staff at Pine Street speak to the girls and lead them on tours through the facility. In addition, there are occasional spring workdays at Brookwood Farm in conjunction with Winsor’s Upper School.
School-Sponsored Full-Year Initiatives
GREATER BOSTON FOOD BANK, BOSTON FOOD BANK WAREHOUSE
Monthly, One Saturday every month
At the Greater Boston Food Bank students sort and package food items, preparing them to go to service organizations around the city. Coming each month is not required, but a core group of volunteers go regularly. Students must be 16 or older to participate. Winsor students have been volunteering at the food bank for nine years.
THE MATHER SCHOOL, DORCHESTER
Weekly, every Wednesday
Winsor students tutor children at the Mather Elementary School in a variety of subjects. They help children with specific course material and study skills, and gain important mentoring experience in the process. Winsor students have been volunteering at the school for over 15 years.
MOUNT PLEASANT HOME, JAMAICA PLAIN
Weekly, Every Monday
Students visit with the residents of Mount Pleasant Home every Monday afternoon to chat and celebrate birthdays and holidays. Students also help residents take walks and chart their exercise progress. This is the fourth year of the Mount Pleasant program.
SINGLE PARENT FAMILY OUTREACH, ROXBURYMonthly, First Saturday of every month
At Single Parent Family Outreach, students work with young children while their parents attend classes. The students play games, read, and entertain children with activities provided by the program. Since the children get to know volunteers, Winsor students commit to attending regularly. Students have been volunteering with this program for nine years.