The entire Groton student body fanned out across the local area on Sunday, September 30 to paint, plant, clean, and otherwise engage with the community. It was the School’s second Community Day of Service, but the first to include the whole School.
Students worked at 19 sites—in Groton, Acton, Fitchburg, Lancaster, Leominster, Pepperell, Roxbury, and Sterling. All around the town of Groton, they sang for seniors at RiverCourt Residences, cleared trails in Keyes Woods, painted fences at town facilities, played with residents of Seven Hills Pediatric Center, participated in a local wellness walk, and gardened at the town senior center and Groton Commons Senior Living. In addition, students helped with gardening at the homes of several elderly Groton residents.
Outside of the town of Groton, students cleaned at the Sterling animal shelter, gardened at Growing Places in South Lancaster and the Acton Arboretum, performed at the community center in Leominster and Nashoba Park Assisted Living in Ayer, served dinner at Our Father’s House in Fitchburg, served brunch at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Pepperell, helped with landscaping at the Heading Home Shelter in Roxbury, and sorted furniture at Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts in Acton.
Ejaaz Jiu ’15 was among the students who helped move furniture at the Acton warehouse. “The furniture was heavy, and we had to move a lot of items,” he says, “but at the end of the day we felt fulfilled. It felt good to help.”
The Community Day of Service was a chance for students and faculty to step outside their routines and think about the world outside Groton’s Circle. “The act of getting beyond our gates reminds us that life is bigger than our conception of it. It is bigger than our workloads or our interpersonal drama,” says Director of Community Engagement and English Teacher Jonathan Freeman-Coppadge, who planned the event. "We are called to come out of our own small worlds and experience life to the full, and that is a refreshing challenge.”
See more photos from Groton's Community Day of Service on our multimedia page.