Grade 9 students recently participated in the upper school’s annual freshman service day. The mandatory daylong event is designed to serve as an introduction to community service.
Traveling with their advisory groups in mid-October, 191 students set off to do some good at various sites including EcoMagic, R.A.F.T., Humane Society of Silicon Valley, San Jose Rose Garden, Sacred Heart Community Services, Sunrise Village Emergency Shelter, Acterra and Family Supportive Housing.
“Students arrived before their departure to pack a lunch and discuss the volunteer site they were scheduled to go on,” recalled Kerry Enzensperger, who directs community service for the upper school. She explained that the day is organized by advisory so advisers go on the trip along with their students. Students volunteer for a three-hour time period, and fill out a “reflection form” upon their return to campus.
“I went to the Humane Society with my advisees. We made cat toys and dog treats, and helped socialize the shelter animals,” she said.
Upper school counselor Greg Roumbanis accompanied his advisory group of seven students to R.A.F.T. in Santa Clara. “The organization we worked with puts together low-cost materials for teachers to use in their classes and the students helped put the kits together. It was a really interesting place to work because it struck up some good conversations. There was a significant amount of talk regarding the conditions people work in overseas in Third World countries,” he recalled.