Every fall, ninth graders at Germantown Friends School set aside textbooks and pencils and spend a day in the community using different types of learning tools – shovels to work in local community gardens, jump ropes to play with Germantown school kids, paint brushes to freshen up community centers and ladles to prepare food at area soup kitchens.
“Germantown, with its complex history and present-day vibrancy, provides a unique extended classroom in which to learn,” said GFS Director of Community Involvement Kathy Paulmier.
One group of students spent the day preparing and serving food at the Germantown Holsey Temple soup kitchen. The Rev. Arthur Green was grateful for the help.
“The students work hard and they bring a great attitude and spirit,” he said. “They get to learn how blessed they are and how wonderful it is to serve instead of being served.”
“It’s humbling to do something for someone else like this,” said Ninth grader Niles Bayard, who was pouring fruit juice. “Everyone has their problems, but some people have really difficult things going on in their lives and it feels good knowing you can do things to help them.”
“I learned from this experience that I’m very fortunate and that it feels nice to give back,” said Bayard’s classmate Layah Taylor.
For ninth grader Lila Kushner, the neighborhood connection appealed most to her.
“We are all part of the same community, so it’s important that we help each other,” she said.