In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, students at Princeton Day School participated in special programming on Friday January 12 to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. In the Middle School, there were two special assemblies for students. In the morning, the School was honored to welcome Shirley Satterfield, a Princeton native who guides tours for the Princeton Historical Society.
Life’s most urgent question is what are you doing for others?Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The goal for the Service Learning 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.
- Service Learning in the Lower School
- Service Learning in the Middle School
- Service Learning in the Upper School
- School-wide Service Learning
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
Middle School students participate in projects that have been decided upon collectively by the division. Once the organization has been identified, time is devoted to learning about the organization and carrying through with solutions. 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 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
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.
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 popular and mutually fulfilling service opportunity exists right within our school walls. Interested Upper School students are matched up with Lower School faculty members who would like students to help in the classroom on a cyclical basis. Teachers rely on tap students, planning lessons which require an extra pair of hands. Our littlest students benefit having older students in the room and look forward to the visits.
- 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
Schoolwide: Pay to PJ Day benefitting Hurricane victims in Texas and Florida
Upper School: Trail Cleanup and Loaves and Fishes
10th grade: Lunchmaking for Low Income Families benefitting Rise Food Pantry
Schoolwide: Food Drives benefitting HomeFront and Family Guidance Service Center
Lower School: Wrap In benefitting foster children in partnership with the One Simple Wish Foundation
Middle School: Skating Party "tickets" to build an emergency service fund
Lower School: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Schoolwide: Trail Run benefitting the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association
Schoolwide: The Great Giveaway - a school supply drive
Our Lower School students gathered to wrap gifts donated by the community to benefit foster children through the One Simple Wish Foundation (onesimplewish.org) in the annual Princeton Day School Wrap-In event. This morning, there was a steady stream of students joining in on the gift-wrapping, as well as special help by Head of Lower School Alesia Klein and Head of School Paul Stellato. Many boxes filled with gifts were collected for One Simple Wish, just in time for the holidays. Here are some photos.
The Princeton Day School community once again participated in the annual school-wide Thanksgiving Basket Drive this week to help make this holiday special for all families in Mercer County. The goal of the drive was to create complete Thanksgiving baskets with food for the Thanksgiving meal and the rest of the week. The Lower School was able to create 59 baskets of food, which they donated to Homefront (https://www.homefrontnj.org/). The Middle and Upper Schools worked together to create 53 complete baskets, which they donated to the Family Guidance Center (http://www.fgccorp.org/).