Importance of Community Service

Kimberly Formisano, Head of Lower School

There is a lot that happens that isn’t easily on display in a classroom visit. Work that students take a great deal of pride in is their community service. Beginning last year, students in the Lower School visited Rose’s Bounty, a local food pantry where they help organize, bag, and box food goods for pick up. We continued our partnership with them, and now this year each grade level visits Rose’s Bounty twice a year.

Earlier this fall, I went with the 5th graders, and they were responsible for boxing all of the food items at the end of the week and placing the boxes of food into cars for those picking up. I was incredibly proud of the way the fifth graders collaborated with one another, to check expiration dates, to stuff boxes, to set-up pick up stations, to move boxes and bags to desirable locations. They worked hard for the service of others and as they did so it was clear that they were beginning to see themselves as agents of change. They recognized their impact as global citizens.

After loading many cars with the food given by Rose’s Bounty, we boarded the bus home and as we drove away the students saw the long line of cars still waiting for food. One student remarked, “wow we loaded a lot of cars and there are still so many more in need.” Another said, “I am really glad we helped today. It felt good to do the work.” As Rayna Smaller, a licensed social worker said, “I define community care as how we show up and create space for each other. It's how we share and create resources among one another and create dependable relationships."

As a lower school, we are creating relationships outside of our community that in turn help students to develop their social and emotional skills. Students took pride in their work, were eager to collaborate with one another, and were quick to offer a helping hand to anyone who needed it. Community service trips, like going to Rose’s Bounty, teach students that when we show up for others, we learn how to show up for ourselves. When we build community, it creates a space for children to learn and grow, and to know that if they struggle, people will be there to support them.

Brimmer firmly believes that the most profound learning takes place when children are active members of the community. Our dedicated teachers ensure that the curriculum is engaging and rich with hands-on learning opportunities and provides opportunities to think beyond the walls of Brimmer. Every classroom in the Lower School is a place where children thrive, and values them as learners, as individuals, and future leaders. 
As an inclusive private school community, Brimmer welcomes students who will increase the diversity of our school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or any other characteristic protected from discrimination under state or federal law, in the administration of our educational policies, admissions practices, financial aid decisions, and athletic and other school-administered programs.