At Newton Country Day, service to those in need is woven into the fabric of our school. Called by faith to action, our students develop a strong sense of their own power to make positive change. We believe that students have much to learn from those they serve, and that their developing identities are shaped in part by their active service to others in the school and beyond.
Middle School girls participate in a variety of service projects throughout the year to raise money for such organizations as Birthday Wishes and the American Red Cross. The students also serve the community first hand by assisting the Food Project, a farm that harvests fruits and vegetables for local shelters.Upper School students serve on a wider scale and must complete a required number of hours of direct service for graduation. Ninth and tenth graders work as class groups on social service projects. At the beginning of Grade 11, girls travel to New York City for a service immersion experience that allows them to directly serve various communities. Juniors also participate in a program called Hesed (translated as “steadfast, faithful, enduring love”). Students choose from a number of sites to directly serve client populations. The service project culminates in a presentation given to their peers incorporating research on an issue related to their site work. In recent years students have volunteered at a wide range of local sites including shelters, food pantries, hospitals, nursing homes, tutoring and after school programs. Beyond serving individuals and communities in need, the Hesed program intends to transform students and inspire a life-long commitment to service and justice.
On designated Saturdays throughout the year, each class in the Upper School hosts “Sophie’s Place,” a festive luncheon in the NCDS Dining Room for a group of 20 plus elderly friends from HEARTH, an organization dedicated to ending elder homelessness in Boston. At Sophie’s Place, NCDS students prepare and serve a nutritious and delicious meal. Students sit down to eat with our guests from HEARTH, offering the gift of presence and friendship. Over the years, students have come to know and adore many of the residents whose charm, humor, kindness, and colorful stories bring joy and wisdom to our community.
Every year, Grade 9 students bake 50 apple pies to donate to Community Servings’ “Pie in the Sky” fundraiser. Pie proceeds help Community Servings provide healthy meals to critically ill and homebound people in Massachusetts. The Pie in the Sky service project provides a great opportunity for students to live Goal III and grow new friendships during this season of giving thanks.