Community Service on the Circle

Community Service on the Circle is multi-faceted. From students who do service as an afternoon activity to whole teams that prepare, serve, and clean up after a community meal, Groton students are engaged in service to the local community every day of the week.

The start of the fall renews connections with groups with whom Groton has traditionally worked over the years. Each Sunday that the School is in session, the Dining Hall prepares a meal that students take and serve to the residents of Our Father’s House, a residential facility for homeless men in the Fitchburg area. The mission of Our Father’s House has expanded in the past two years to include homeless women and children, with a transitional residential facility at Devens called Transitions. So while three or four students leave campus to bring a meal to homeless men in Fitchburg,  another group heads to Transitions to play with, tutor, and engage children. Their mothers are then able to travel with a Groton faculty member to a local grocery store to shop for food and other supplies for their families. The weekly shopping trip is something that would be impossible without childcare and the School’s van.

During the week, students who are signed up for Community Service as an afternoon activity spend three afternoons tutoring and mentoring fifth and sixth grade students at Lowell Community Charter Public School. The remaining two days are split between a return trip to Transitions, where Groton students complete a variety of art projects with the children, under the guidance of Associate Dean Stacey Low, whose vocation is childhood art education, while others volunteer at the Children’s Center at Groton, the early education childcare facility affiliated with the School.

Director of Service and Leadership Nancy Hughes is actively encouraging service on campus by providing opportunities for groups of Groton students—advisees, dorms, athletic teams, or other affinity groups— to band together and complete community service activities. This September, Groton’s football team undertook the preparation, service, and clean-up for the Town of Groton’s Community Dinner. The Community Dinner happens once a month and is hosted by the Congregational Church in Groton.  Any local resident is welcome to attend the restaurant-style meal. On average, 100 individuals, including some families, sit down together each month to share the free meal and be served by other members of their community.

Other recent events included “Halloween for Hunger,” when costumed Groton students trick-or-treated in the local area for canned and non-perishable items, not candy. The food was donated to Loaves and Fishes, our local food bank. If you live in the Groton area and can drive Groton students to activities, or if you would like to partner with Groton School in other service events, please contact Nancy Hughes.

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