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About Friends

Service at Friends

Service learning is a foundation of Quaker education, linking the classroom to the world and building our students’ sense of responsibility as members of communities, large and small. Friends students of all ages engage in service, from kindergartners collecting can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House to upper school students renovating a community center in Costa Rica.
 

Lower School

In the lower school, each classroom organizes service projects throughout the year, often with links to the curriculum (e.g. raising money for a wildlife protection agency during a study of Asia that included environmental issues and the habitats of endangered species). The entire lower school joins together for at least two division-wide projects each year: a bake sale at Homecoming to raise funds for a designated charity, and a December collection of hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves for our neighbors in need.

Middle School

In the “Spring into Service 5K,” middle school students organize, staff, and participate in a run/walk, and as their “entry fee” contribute items, such as non-perishable foods, for a charity that the students choose each year. In seventh grade, each student completes an individual (or partner) off-campus stewardship project, which the students plan with parent and teacher approval. Eighth graders travel by advisory group (10-12 students and a teacher) for a morning of service at the same local agency, building a long-term community partnership for the school and providing a shared experience for the students. Reflection on service is an emphasis, through class presentations, discussions, and written work.
 

Upper School

Upper school students complete at least 50 hours of service with a single organization, with the goal of moving beyond “counting hours” to maximizing the impact of service learning. Students receive an agency evaluation, complete a self-evaluation, and make a presentation designed to pass the service experience on to others. In a number of cases—notably through a QUEST Center partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware and language department international service-learning trips—student service projects grow out of the school program. Student initiated service-based clubs and committees in 2014-15 include Amigos Para Amigos (building on service at orphanages in Puerto Rico on a middle school Spanish trip), the B+ Committee, Best Buddies, and Edukate (which works to raise awareness and to support girls’ education in developing countries).

All School

Service is a foundation not only of the educational program but of the distinctive community at Wilmington Friends. Community building through service is part of student bonding activities at the beginning of each school year. It is expressed in long-term community partnerships with regular student and parent service at organizations like Emmanuel Dining Room. And it is part of our Homecoming events. Working together to express the Friends School’s values in action connects us – students, parents, faculty/staff, and alumni families – in a uniquely meaningful way.
Each September, Friends upper schoolers participate in a day of service, helping at organizations such as the following:
 
Compassionate Care Hospice
DE Center for Horticulture
Hagley Museum & Library
Delaware Nature Society
Clothing Bank
Sunday Breakfast Mission
West End Neighborhood House (Bright Spot Farms)
Easter Seals
Friends of Historic Riverview Cemetery (FHRC)
Bellevue State Park (plot #125)
UrbanPromise Wilmington
Wilmington & Brandywine Cemetery
H. Fletcher Brown Boys & Girls Club
Clarence Fraim Boys & Girls Club
Ronald McDonald House of DE
Delaware State Parks