Creating an outdoor classroom space, writing books for Kenya Connect, helping in the GFS daycare and planning a mural painting for The Women's Housing Coalition were just a few of the many projects Upper School participated in for the annual Day of Service this week. On and off campus, students and faculty leaders pitched in to create positive change all around them while gaining important life skills. 

"The Day of Service is a really important day for students because it exposes them to a variety of community organizations and helps them to understand the vital role that volunteers play in those organizations," said Barb Ackerman, Upper School Teacher and GFS's Community Service Coordinator. "Whatever the project, all students had the opportunity to add a number of tools to their toolkit, whether it's how to use an axe or brickbreaker, how to mix and pour concrete or how to get a baby to go down for a nap." 

Day of service

Mrs. Ackerman, who coordinates the school's Service League to help connect students with meaningful service opportunities, also spoke to Day of Service as an opportunity for students to work closely with their peers in a different environment. It can also help students understand the many service opportunities available to them and point them towards future service work.  

"The more service you do, the more likely you will be to find something that hooks you and that you wish to commit to for the long haul," Mrs. Ackerman said. "Having experienced the value and joy of service, hopefully more and more students will make service a priority and participate in the wide variety of service opportunities that Service League offers all year long."

Day of Service Chapel

At the end of the say, students  had the opportunity to hear from Grace Callwood, the founder of We Cancerve, a nonprofit organization focused on bringing happiness to homeless, sick and foster youth. At 15 years old, Ms. Callwood is an inspiring speaker who talked to the group about founding her organization at the age of 7. 

Check out the slideshow below for more pics from this year's Day of Service!