Service Day at CCHS
“Montessori is an education for independence, preparing not just for school but for life.”
– Maria Montessori
One of the many qualities of a Montessori education is our focus on the whole child, investing not just in academics and physical education, but personal growth. Montessori prepares students to encounter the world in positive, life-giving ways, giving them opportunities to try new things and explore the many ways they connect to their community.
Studies show overwhelming evidence that serving others has a positive impact on social, emotional, and physical health. The benefits include stress-relief, and a greater sense of meaning, purpose, and well-being.
Here at CCHS we’ve decided to devote at least one day each trimester to serving others. Our first Service Day took place on Friday, December 2nd, just in time for the holidays. We began the day with a reading about the evolutionary benefits of service followed by student-led Socratic Seminars to discuss the concepts in the article.
Students then divided into groups to complete their service projects.
A group of seventh, ninth, and tenth graders created holiday door decor to help raise funds to benefit the Rainforest Project, an effort that The Homestead School raises funds for every year. They made 87 door bouquets, raising just over $1,300 to protect rainforest through SaveNature.org. The door decor was made by tying up evergreen clippings with twine and then wrapping them with a bow made from red burlap. Each arrangement was adorned with ornaments that the students made.
Another group helped clean and decorate the school for the Holiday in Hurleyville event that we hosted on the following day, December 3. This included supervised drafting and construction of two life-sized snowmen and a penguin!
A third group of students assembled over 150 Hygiene kits that will be sent around the world during times of natural disasters. Those same students engaged in writing holiday cards for shut-ins, letters to service people who are stationed abroad for the holidays, and welcoming letters to refugees.
Our eighth graders went off-campus for their activities.
One group of students visited the Care at Sunset Lake Retirement Facility in Liberty. Students had a really great time playing Uno and Dominos with the residents. They also helped them create holiday cards to give to family members. The students bonded with the residents so much that they didn’t want to leave! And the residents didn’t want them to go, either. We hope to make this a regular trip.
Another group of eighth graders visited our Glen Spey campus. They gave a spirited reading of How The Grinch Stole Christmas in all three lower elementary school classrooms. After the reading, the CCHS students then assisted cofounder of the Homestead, Pete Comstock, with outdoor projects around the school. The students had a wonderful time working with the younger students, and they hope to return soon.
Our final eighth grade group visited the Sullivan County Museum to help clean their exhibits and decorate for the holiday. The ladies who work there remarked on how nice our kids are, and we all had fun checking out the history of Hurleyville and the county.
The day was a great success with many students loving their opportunities for service. Each supervising teacher observed expressions of joy while their students were serving the community. The CCHS community is now inspired to find more frequent opportunities for service with these and other organizations.