Princeton Day School is dedicating Friday, January 13 to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with special programming and opportunities for all students and faculty to honor Dr. King and work together on service projects. Each division has specific plans for the day. Click the headline to read about the plans for the day in each division.
Community Service at Princeton Day School
Life’s most urgent question is what are you doing for others?Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The goal for the Community Service program at Princeton Day School is to engage our students in thoughtful, intentional and purposeful ways as they become responsible citizens—helping neighbors locally and globally. As we participate in community outreach and connect with underserved organizations or groups, we guide our students to solve problems creatively and find the best way to truly make a difference. At Princeton Day School, our aim is not to find a quick “fix,” but instead to lead our students to the root of an issue; to help them gain a deeper understanding of the problem and, ultimately, identify paths to a lasting solution.
- Community Service in the Lower School
- Community Service in the Middle School
- Community Service in the Upper School
- School-wide Community Service
Some examples include:
- The Wrap-In: a children’s gift drive benefitting the One Simple Wish Foundation, a local organization that enriches the lives of foster children. Students wrap new donated presents in creative and sustainable ways with recycled materials.
- Winter Woolies: a mitten, hat and scarf drive benefitting the Children’s Home Society of NJ, a local organization which “helps at risk infants, youths, and families achieve their potential.”
- 2nd grade student-created calendar sale, with proceeds benefitting an agreed-upon organization
- Annual bulb planting
Here are some additional examples of Community Service in the MS:
- Loaves and Fishes bagged lunch project; MS students gather together to make hundreds of bagged lunches to benefit Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, an organization that feeds the hungry in the Trenton area
- Skating Party “Tickets” with proceeds donated to local organizations
- Book drives to ensure books are in the hands of children who may not have access to them
- Bake sales and clothing drives proposed by individual students and student groups to help local organizations
Upper School students are required to complete 50 hours of Community Service prior to graduation. These 50 hours may be completed at any time over the course of their four years in the US, and may be completed within the school community, as well as outside of school.
A Community Service Committee with co-heads, grade level representatives, and a faculty advisor are responsible for overseeing US projects. Community Service projects are developed primarily through student clubs, advisory groups, and by individual students. Students respond to current events and identify programs or organizations which are in need of assistance. They develop a plan for hands-on help—organizing a drive for essentials or a sale to raise funds as financial support. Periodically, informed speakers are brought to campus to raise awareness about the issues that are being addressed.
- Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive: Baskets including each part of a Thanksgiving meal are collected and donated to HomeFront, a local organization addressing homelessness in Central New Jersey
- The Great Giveaway: gently used school supplies are collected and sent to organizations that work with students who are in need of these essentials
- Ongoing clothing drive: four times a year, the school’s lost and found bins are donated to The Nearly New Shop, a thrift store supporting our local community
- A spontaneous fall food drive, which collected more than 1,300 pounds of food to benefit the Crisis Ministry, a local organization that provides food and financial assistance to low income individuals
- American Red Cross Blood Drive: An
annual drive for PDS students, faculty, and parents to donate blood at an
Princeton Day School 4th grade student Max Frost personally initiated a coat drive in partnership with Burlington Coat Factory to help people in need this holiday season. Max was able to collect more than 40 coats from his 4th grade classmates for the
"Warm Coats & Warm Hearts" drive. Max's generosity reached the attention of a producer at ABC's "Good Morning America," who came to the PDS campus to film a segment on Max's project. The segment aired on Christmas morning, and here is a link to the clip. Way to go, Max!
Earlier today, on December 7, our Princeton Day School Lower School students gathered to wrap gifts donated by the entire community to benefit foster children through the One Simple Wish Foundation (onesimplewish.org). Lower School teacher and Community Service Coordinator Margie Gibson, who helped organize the event, asked students and families to consider purchasing small gifts, including coloring books, sticker books, play dough, crayons/markers, small toys, teething toys, board books, and sports equipment for all ages for the drive. As she noted, "Whatever you think will brighten a child's day is perfect." Click the headline to read more.