In the Wake of Disaster, Grace Students Organize
The unprecedented natural disasters of the past several weeks have left millions of people devastated. Students at Grace have risen to the task and have started several initiatives to help those in need of aid.
In the wake of these disasters, Grace students are working to support the relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Mexico and Houston. Students have developed projects in their homerooms and service learning classes -- collecting supplies, doing extra chores to raise money, and assembling disaster kits. The money and resources raised will be distributed to organizations like UNICEF, FDNY, Episcopal Charities and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. In every grade, students have taken on the challenge of assisting those in need.
Across the school students work to develop and carry out a class service project. Middle schools students begin in-house community service in Grade 5, graduating to a service-learning program with local and global organizations in Grades 7 and 8. High School students participate in a service-learning program that culminates in a team-based independent project completed in their senior year. In addition to their studying service and community engagement, students are making extra time to engage in disaster relief efforts as members of clubs and the student council.
Faculty members are extending the conversation from supporting the relief efforts to the classroom. Later in the fall, there will be a program for high school students to examine and explore the economic and political factors that have exacerbated the crisis in Puerto Rico, complicating the relief effort. At Grace Church School, Service Learning is not just an integral part of the curriculum but also a part of life.