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The Milton Measure

Upperclassmen Serve on May 1st Community Engagement Day

by Kalaria Okali on Friday, May 19th, 2017


Students participate in 2017 CEPP Day (Joy Lee '17)

Every other year in May, Milton students take a break from their routine schedules and participate in Community Engagement Day. This year, some of the sites and programs involved in the day included the Boston Food Bank, the Epiphany School, the Taylor Elementary School, various elder homes, the Higashi School, Wesley Childcare Center, and a few others.

Seniors enjoyed a day on the track hosting a field day with students from the Taylor School, while Class II was divided by advisory groups and sent to their respective sites. Recently, the Community Service program’s name was changed from “Community Service” to “Community Engagement” after board members observed that students were not only benefiting the communities and groups which they were serving, but also benefiting themselves.

In an email sent to the school announcing the program’s new title, the Community Engagement Board explained, “We will move away from a focus simply on service – the idea that only the volunteer has something to ‘give’ – toward a model that emphasizes two-way partnership and contribution. We acknowledge that all members of the program – student volunteers, faculty and staff members, partner organizations and their constituents, parent volunteers – add immense value, strength, resource, and potential for growth.” While community engagement opportunities are offered throughout the year, some students can not find time in their schedules or are not interested in participating.

Speaking to the purpose of Community Engagement Day, Ms. Geyling-Moore, Director of the Community Engagement Program, explained, “The goal of Community Engagement Day is to give students the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom in a hands on way, and to learn from our communities beyond our campus who are are neighbors and partners. At the same time we hope that our volunteer groups can give of time and energy through one day service, it gives the opportunity to learn about real life issues.

In terms of deciding which sites are involved in Community Engagement Day, Ms. Geyling-Moore felt that “the sites and programs we work with on that day are community partners with whom we’ve had a relationship for many years for these special days, and a majority are sites that we also visit throughout the year with weekly volunteers.”

Molly Chiang (II), a Community Engagement board member, stated“[the day] is important because it brings together the Milton community to help the greater community. Additionally, sometimes at Milton we get caught up in our problems (too much homework, bad food in Forbes, etc), so it’s good to take a step back and engage with the greater community and remember that Milton isn’t the whole world.”

Dylan Volman (II), another member of the Community Engagement board, had a similar opinion and explained that “Community Engagement Day is important because at Milton, since we don’t require community service hours, many students go most of the year without doing any service. This day gives these students the opportunity to see the amazing difference volunteer work can make, as well as the rewarding feeling it gives.”

Ms. Geyling-Moore also discussed some possible changes for the future that she hopes to implement: “It would be great to have more time to reflect and process the hands on experience after students return to campus, both in advisories and sharing in the class as a whole. As well, advisories could look at websites of the partner sites in advance to learn about their mission and related issues such as childhood education, homelessness, food insecurity, special needs, etc. This would deepen the learning experience.”

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Posted by Kalaria Okali on May 19 2017. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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