Service to the larger community has been a cornerstone of Garrison Forest School since its earliest days. During World War I, the GFS “Farmerettes” volunteered to shuck corn on nearby farms while the farmers-turned-soldiers were stationed in Europe. Ever since, students have been helping others within and beyond the Garrison Forest community in meaningful ways. It is our hope that, through voluntary participation in community service projects, each student will experience personal growth, explore problems and challenges outside the Garrison Forest walls, and develop ways to make actual changes in society.
In the Upper School, all community service is coordinated through the student-run Service League, which was founded in 1942 and has been in continual operation ever since. Service League projects encompass numerous regional, national, and international projects. Upper School students may also apply for the Elise Foster Jenkins ’53 Service Fellows program, which offers GFS-funded summer fellowships to participate in an in-depth service project at home or abroad.
Middle School service projects range from supporting the Donald Bentley Food Pantry in Baltimore City to raising money to build and operate a girls’ school in Afghanistan. Several projects are ongoing, but a number of new projects are initiated by student interest, which provide exciting, engaging leadership development opportunities.
Community service is an integral part of life in the Lower Division. Beginning with our Preschool, students, parents, and faculty participate in a number of hands-on activities for local, national, and international families in need. In the Lower School, each grade sponsors a monthly theme by sharing information and coordinating service projects on hunger and other issues, based n the five rights of children from the United Nations: hunger; nutrition; shelter; education; health; and the environment. Lower Division students support the efforts of the Middle and Upper School Service league representatives as appropriate.