Seniors, reflecting on what they’ve gained from serving during their Milton years, launched the biennial Community Service Day on May 4. Service projects at numerous locations, off campus and on, offered myriad ways to help.
Students sorted and assembled donated toys and school supplies at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton for instance. They helped at residences for the homeless, for the elderly, for people with disabilities at the Massachusetts Hospital School, and for adults with multiple sclerosis at the Boston Home. At elementary schools in Milton and Dorchester, students and faculty rejuvenated an outdoor classroom, served as reading buddies, and conducted science demonstrations. Nearby day care sites allowed for time with small children and for a chance to help with upkeep. Some groups sorted food donations at the Greater Boston Food Bank, or prepared lunch for homeless guests at Pine Street Inn and Father Bill’s Shelter. Others were outdoors, set to tasks for the Town of Milton (hospital, parks, cemetery), at the Zoo, Boston Nature Center, and various parks including Pope John Paul II Park. Students pitched in on farm work at Brookwood Farm in the Blue Hills and at Long Island Shelter Farm. Spanish speakers assisted at Mujeres Unidas en Accion. Milton’s longtime collaboration with Sidewalk Sam this time included street painting for a Mother’s Day Peace Walk in Dorchester.
On campus, students in Class I hosted a Field Day for children from a Boston public elementary school. They ran relay races, ball tosses, face painting, crafts creations, and an obstacle course. Each young child was paired with a senior, and it’s hard to say if the big or little buddies had more fun. Milton also hosted about 40 fifth- and sixth-graders from the Epiphany Middle School in Dorchester who tried some classes not typically part of their day—in music, science (making their own ice cream) and poetry writing.
Many years ago, the Student Governing Association proposed this day of service, which alternates with Seminar Day. The day gives all students and advisors a chance to help out in our surrounding communities, and also learn about related social, political, and environmental issues. Throughout the year, more than 200 Upper School students serve weekly at many of these same sites. Community Service Day is a change of pace and a chance to connect with each other and beyond.