The Parents’ Association Community Service Committee is dedicated to planning hands-on service projects that support students’ learning at all grade levels. The PA sponsors three major projects during the academic year:
- Pumpkin Bread drive in November
- Chop-a-thon, taking place this year in the first week of February
- Cradles-to-Crayons, our annual clothing drive, culminating in April
At Park, “service learning” means that when we serve our communities with our time, skills, or resources, we actively reflect on our experiences and goals, we align our service actions to meet our communities’ needs, we assess our assumptions – and we learn! Our children get to do this throughout their arc at school, as they explore identity, stereotypes, and civics, and later as they develop competence in advocacy.
We aim to provide parents and families with varied windows to the service learning opportunities available throughout the Park curriculum. We do this by asking directly for your precious time, and also by sharing information about our amazing service partners, by working with our librarians who meticulously curate book lists related to our service projects, and — recognizing how difficult it can be to find volunteer opportunities for younger children outside of school — by managing events for various age levels, including our littlest students.
Our Pumpkin Bread Drive, coming up in November, is the first project of the year. Baking pumpkin bread has been a wonderful Park tradition for fall! Every year our service partners at the Allston-Brighton Food Pantry report that their Thanksgiving supper guests look forward to going home with a loaf lovingly baked by our families and thoughtfully wrapped by our faculty. This will be the third year of our partnership with the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), which provides affordable housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
This project is indescribably special because everyone knows the loaves come from our families’ kitchens to their families’ tables. Augmenting the holiday meals for neighbors in our actual community is a great way for us to serve and it is truly an all-school event. There are plenty of ways to get involved even if you’re not a baker! Assemble our baking kits (consisting of two aluminum loaf pans, canned pumpkin, and our traditional recipes), help with bread storage, or deliver the bread once it’s ready. This year, the pumpkin bread will be baked and collected between November 15–26. Additional details and opportunities to sign up will be shared with Class Reps and in Friday Notes. Contact CydCharise Jeyes or Tiffany Hogan for more information.
Please stay tuned; future issues of The Park Parent will feature introductions to Chop-a-thon in February (co-chairs Susan Boney, Lars Liebisch, and Jessica Scherer) and Cradles-to-Crayons in April (co-chairs Julia Clarkson and Dennisse Rorie). These projects round out The Parents’ Association’s through-the-seasons commitment to community service.
Finally, please also be on the lookout for QR codes for each of our projects. The QR codes will lead you to useful information about our service partners, discussion prompts, and relevant books in the Park library collection. We will also regularly feature community service event information in Friday Notes, on the bulletin board outside the Dining Room and, prior to events, in the main Lobby.
Welcome from the Parents’ Association
The PA’s #1 mission is to help parents and guardians connect and engage with the entirety of our vibrant community at Park! We welcome all of you to get involved in the PA. Join us in doing meaningful work together: building community, offering student enrichment activities and grants, and showing appreciation for Park faculty and staff. With over 25 committees, the variety of volunteer opportunities makes it possible for parents/guardians with different schedules, interests and talents to participate in the life of the school. Whether a one-time or ongoing commitment, every contribution is needed and valued.
If you missed the fall Volunteer Fair, it’s not too late to be involved. Please reach out to Heena Lee (President), Elizabeth Wood (Vice President), Nadia Fenton-Rahim or Leigh Kempinski (Volunteer Outreach Network co-chairs). And/or, just come to one of our meetings! PA meetings are open to all; at Park, all parents/guardians are members of the PA and invited to attend and participate. Keep an eye on Friday Notes, where we announce upcoming meetings.