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“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”
Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer
An integral part of the Mission of Whitby School is to “motivate our students to confidently take action as contributing members of a diverse global community.” By dedicating time to serving others both inside and outside the Whitby community, students expand their view of themselves and the world, develop empathy, humility and leadership skills, and come to understand that through their individual actions they can positively impact the lives of others.
Whitby's Middle School Volunteer Program focuses on direct service, meaning face-to-face contact directly with the population being served. This can include things like tutoring students, working with animals at a shelter, cleaning up a beach or distributing food at a pantry. Our commitment to direct service means that community service activities take place at local organizations. For this reason, Whitby develops and maintains collaborative relationships with organizations that address problems and build upon assets of local and Whitby communities.
Our goal is to promote and provide structured opportunities for students, staff, faculty and parents to engage in public service.
During this year-long project, our students explore single-stream recycling and brainstorm ways to improve our school's current process. The students start the year as researchers and learners, and eventually become educators who will share their recycling strategies throughout the school community.
Students take on a mentor role with Primary students multiple times during the year as they form a special bond through engaging activities such as writing and illustrating poetry, making venn diagrams to highlight their similarities and differences, and helping students with creative math problem solving. This program builds community across divisions, enhances leadership skills, and engages students through creative, hands-on activities.
Once students reach Grade 7, they begin to volunteer their time at local Partner Organizations of their choosing. Students document and reflect on their unique experiences, and are often inspired to give their time above and beyond the required 15 hours of service.