Tell me, and I'll forget.
Show me, and I may remember.
Involve me, and I'll understand.
- A Native American Proverb
The service program at Lower School strives to engage students in age appropriate, hands-on service projects. The projects are designed to complement grade-specific curricula and serve Lower School’s core community service partners (Martha’s Table, Bethesda Cares, A Wider Circle, and Brightwood Elementary School). In keeping with the Quaker tradition, service is an integral aspect of the Lower School education. The program is designed to introduce young children to the needs of others in a safe and non-threatening manner and to encourage "habits of involvement." Teachers work hard to integrate service work into the school week and parents contribute their time to help model effective community service and support the school's efforts.
The service program is comprised of in-class experiences, such as weekly vegetable chopping for Martha’s Table and helping to sustain the SFS campus recycling and composting efforts. Beginning in kindergarten, the service program also includes two Service Days each year. On Service Days, students participate in grade-wide projects that occur outside of class. There is a thoughtful progression to the Service Days. The youngest students volunteer on campus doing projects that contribute to the school and our service partners. As the students mature, they travel off campus to work directly with individuals in the broader community. Whether the kids work on a specific environmental stewardship project or become reading buddies with students at Brightwood Elementary, Lower School students have the opportunity to volunteer their time and energy in a meaningful way. Community service at Sidwell Friends Lower School is a wonderful tradition and is a part of the school identity and culture.