Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships
Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP) seeks to instill and support a passion for service learning in Milton Academy’s students, faculty and staff. Through providing a multitude of opportunities from tutoring in local schools, to donating blood, to assisting the elderly, the program strives to provide the Milton community with interesting and meaningful opportunities to engage with the broader community. On average, over 200 students make weekly commitments to over 20 different partner organizations in the Greater Boston area. Another 250 students participate in multi-annual events such as Special Olympics tournaments, the Red Cross Blood Drive and holiday giving events. The entire Milton community participates in the annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet and biennial Days of Community Engagement. Each March, CEPP sponsors a spring break service trip. Students, faculty and parents have traveled for the past several years to renovate the island high school of Ocean Academy in Belize.
For those interested in pursuing service learning coursework, the history and social sciences department offers an elective: Activism for Justice in a Digital World. This half course for Class I, II and III students includes a weekly service commitment at a local partner site along with readings, journaling and class projects on issues such as poverty, hunger, homelessness, education and immigration.
Students Volunteer Either Weekly or Monthly
Service Sites in Greater Boston
Volunteers for One-Time Special Events
Special Olympics Athletes Celebrated on Campus Each Year
Sign up by contacting the CEPP Office (617-898-2320), Ms. Geyling-Moore, a student board member or by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to download the CEPP sign up sheet (PDF). Most students are placed according to their schedule preferences in September (pending site needs and transportation).
Tutoring and Classroom Assistance
BOSTON PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Milton students have the opportunity to work in a variety of ways with elementary school students (Grades K–5) in the Boston public school system. Students need to have a double free period to act as a classroom assistant or an individual student’s tutor/mentor and be seriously committed to going every week. Traditionally, this is one of Milton’s most popular service opportunities and has developed into a particularly long-standing partnership with the Taylor Elementary School, just minutes up the road in Mattapan. Volunteers help with math, reading, PE, and in a special program of weekly arts and crafts activities in all the first grade classrooms.
MILTON ACADEMY LOWER and MIDDLE SCHOOL
In our own Lower School (Grades K–5) and Middle School (Grades 6–8) volunteers help as classroom aides in math, reading, writing, and chorus, as individual mentors, and are also welcome to help during recess and lunch playground time. Lower School placements are well suited to students who only have a single free period, since it is located right on campus.
MILTON PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Milton Academy students have gone in steady numbers to assist youngsters and their teachers in our town’s public elementary schools: the Glover, Tucker, Collicott, and Cunningham Schools. Placements are in a variety of grade levels (Grades K–5) and subjects, as well as to help with organized play at recess time. There is always a need for volunteers who can work with children in French immersion classrooms, as well as Spanish. Some Academy students have gone back to work with their own former teachers or have encountered the children of Academy faculty members.
THE SATURDAY COURSE
Most Saturday mornings during the school year the Milton Academy campus is host to public middle school students from many communities around Boston, who come to take courses in a wide range of subjects, such as science, writing, photography, sculpture, etc. Student volunteers can assist teachers in the classes/labs or even help teach the courses. It runs from 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in two sessions.
Tutoring with Possible Foreign Language Affiliation
Milton Elementary Schools French Immersion Program
All four of Milton’s elementary schools – the Collicott, Cunningham, Tucker, and Glover Schools – offer a French immersion program. Its goal is to develop French fluency in children whose primary language is English. Volunteers most often work as general classroom assistants in grades 1 and 2 where children are learning all subjects in French.
Mujeres Unidas Avanzando (MUA) Mujeres Unidas Avanzado: MUA Boston
This partner offers an educational program for low-income Latina women, especially Central American immigrants, to learn English and to participate more actively in the political, social, and economic life of their community. Our volunteers assist in the ESL classrooms or tutor women individually. They may also help in the children’s daycare program or with administrative tasks at MUA. Knowledge of Spanish is particularly useful at this site.
Quincy Community Action Programs (QCAP) www.qcap.org
This agency offers many different social services for the Quincy community, including English as a Second Language and computer classes. Academy volunteers are needed to tutor adult immigrants in individual or small group pairings. Knowledge of Chinese can be helpful, but some immigrant students come from a variety of backgrounds, including Africa, Middle East, and Eastern Europe.
ESL and Citizenship Education In Chinatown cpaboston.org
Currently on hold: In collaboration with the Chinese Progressive Association, the Asian Society has helped recruit a regular group of volunteers to tutor non-native speakers of English. They have helped Asian immigrants improve their English language skills and to prepare for the US citizenship examination. Knowledge of spoken Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) as well as written Chinese is particularly helpful.
Preschool Child Care Services
THE CHILDREN’S CENTER AT MILTON ACADEMY
This is an opportunity to help out in our very own daycare for faculty and neighborhood children from infancy through pre-Kindergarten age. Volunteers help out with play activities indoors and out, and potentially with lunchtime as well. This is particularly convenient for students who only have a single free period during the morning, or who are free after school.
Volunteers who are free periods 5-6 (usually Tuesdays or Thursdays) are popular lunch buddies with preschoolers at this South Shore Daycare site. The children tend to get very attached to our volunteers. They especially love getting personal attention when sitting together with their “big” friends to eat lunch and talk, and then have story time before nap time backrubs.
WESLEY CHILD CARE
Wesley Childcare, located in Mattapan, provides an opportunity to work with young children, many of whom are of Haitian descent. Milton Academy has been sending volunteers there for over 30 years, including its annual Spanish exchange student group. Mornings work best for active involvement in the preschool classrooms, while after school hours also give the opportunity to provide homework help to elementary aged children or play with the younger ones.
Food and Meal Services
EPIPHANY SCHOOL DINNER PROGRAM
Milton Academy is a valued partner with this small school for middle schoolers who have entered it from the Boston public system. It requires pupils to attend an intensive 12-hour school day and Milton Academy has made a commitment to help prepare, serve and clean up dinner every Monday that we are in session. Volunteers go from 4:15–7:30 p.m. and have a chance to get to learn cooking skills while getting to know the 80 children and their teachers.
MILTON FOOD PANTRY
This local food pantry serves low-income families in Milton who can pick up groceries on Saturday mornings. It is located in the basement of Parkway Methodist Church. Volunteers help sort and distribute food items on Saturdays 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Shorter shifts are possible, and announcements will be made about particular dates when volunteers are needed.
Special Needs Assistance
MILTON RESIDENCES for the ELDERLY (MRE)
The Town of Milton has several apartment complexes for its elderly residents. The Winter Valley location (2 minutes from campus) has an Assisted Living program where volunteers help run Bingo and coffee hour on Wednesdays 1:30–3 p.m. In past, volunteers have also helped at the Unquity House location near Mattapan assisting elders in using new computers, as well as playing board games.
Boston Home offers students an opportunity to spend time with residents who are confined to wheelchairs due to multiple sclerosis. Often close, one-on-one relationships develop as volunteers come each week to help residents with personal letter writing and simple tasks in their rooms, playing games/cards, reading aloud, performing music, or simply chatting. Weekly trips are usually pd.6-7 or after school, pending transportation and scheduling.
This program is run by the Town of Milton Parks and Recreation program for children and teens with mental disabilities. The nearby location at Glover Elementary School, in walking distance from campus, makes this a convenient option for boarders, as well as students busy with other afternoon commitments. On Wednesday evenings 6–7:30 p.m. volunteers play gym games and sometimes accompany their buddies on special outings.
This is a day and boarding school in Randolph for children and young adults (ages 3–20) with autism. This is great opportunity to learn about a complicated disability while interacting with young people who, in many ways, are also much like themselves. Volunteers have helped with drama club, gym, and computer activities, but most typically in recent years as lunchtime conversation buddies with teens. Milton faculty have welcomed several students from Higashi’s integration program into our campus jazz, choral, computer, and art classes.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS home team COACHING
Every Sunday from 10–11:30 a.m. the Milton-Quincy Mustangs practice on campus for the fall soccer, winter basketball, and spring track and field seasons. Volunteers assist athletes as mentors and buddies to develop skills for season competitions.
MASSACHUSETTS HOSPITAL SCHOOL
This is a school for mentally and physically disabled adolescents most of whom are in wheelchairs (due to injuries or complications from birth). They attend as day or boarding students. Milton students have assisted in the afterschool recreation program on Wednesdays (pending transportation), helping with a variety of activities such as basketball, bowling, horseback riding, photography, and board games, however, commitments require a more involved interview/application process and long-term weekly commitment.
Afterschool Homework Programs
Brookview House in Mattapan is a shelter for women and children providing transitional housing and social services. Brookview also sponsors support groups and workshops centered around such issues as substance abuse recovery and self esteem. Weekly volunteers (usually on Tuesdays) work with children ages 4-12 in an afterschool homework and activities program. Every December we host them for a holiday party and basketball court time with our boys’ and girls’ teams.
BRIDGE BOSTON ELEMENTARY CHARTER SCHOOL
This tuition free school in Dorchester offers full-service programming for children in grades preschool – grade 4. Bridge Boston Charter School works closely with families and students to remove the health and social obstacles that hinder student learning. Volunteers help with after school activities such as art, reading, and free play.
Arts, Music and Animals
MILTON ANIMAL SHELTER
Just down the road, the Town of Milton runs its own Animal Shelter. They have a policy of NO euthanizing. Volunteer trips tend to run after school. Help is needed to clean cat cages, feed and play with individual cats to socialize them for potential adoption. Due to limited building space, currently only 2 people (by seniority) can volunteer at a time.
PERFORMANCES for elders and CURRENT EVENTS
This is an opportunity to bring great joy to residents of homes for disabled and elderly communities. We are looking for musicians, singers, dancers and speech team members of all genres to perform on a regular or occasional basis. These are informal recitals which we arrange for particular dates after school. Volunteers interested in discussing current events with residents on a weekly basis have also been a hit in the past.
The Community Engagement Board is a group of 16 students who are a vital part of CEPP at Milton Academy. They are responsible for promoting opportunities; helping their peers to sign up and get trained; debrief weekly experiences at partner sites; and implement special events. The office for community engagement is located in the basement of Wigglesworth Hall, adjacent to the Student Center. Drop in anytime, or contact us at 617-898-2320.
Announcements of upcoming events will be posted outside the CEPP office, communicated by emails to class conferences, and publicized by board members at morning assemblies.
The 2016–2017 board is comprised of the following students and faculty coordinators:
Co-Heads: Noah Cheng, Maria Horbaczewski
Class I: Keisha Baffour-Addo, Anooshka Gupta, Tyler Piazza, Olivia Zhong
Class II: Zoe Camaya, Molly Chiang, Amelia Cleary, Cecilia Guan, Tess Lenihan, Lily Reposa, Dylan Volman
Class III: Charles Leonetti, Akua Owusu, Elena Viciera
Class IV: applications out in Semester 2
Faculty: Andrea Geyling-Moore, Susan Karp, Tasheana Dukuly
Community service is optional at Milton, which means that students participate because they want to, not because they have to. This brings a positive vibe and unique aspect to all of the projects. Every week, I volunteer at the Taylor School, an elementary school in Boston. I love working with and forming relationships with the kids there. One of our big events each year is the Brookview holiday party. Brookview House helps homeless and at-risk families. For the party, we host all the kids on campus and we play games, have fun treats, and celebrate the season. Last year, one of my students from the Taylor School was also at the Brookview party. That was meaningful for me, seeing a connection from one community I was involved in to another.Luis Viceira