Cold Day, Warm Hearts
Students give back on Pomfret’s Day of Service.
On a windy and brisk day, students rolled up their sleeves, pulled on their gloves, and got to work for Pomfret’s annual Day of Service. There were plenty of tasks to do and plenty of Griffins to do them. Members of the freshman, junior, and senior classes split up and headed out to twenty-six nonprofit organizations and parks to give back to the community in which they live and learn.
Some got their hands dirty pulling weeds, planting vegetable seedlings, spreading mulch, and picking up trash. Others cleaned cabins and helped move furniture, food items, and canoes. They lent a helping hand at local camps — including the Windham-Tolland 4-H Camp, Camp Woodstock, and June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation. They cleaned up areas of the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Pomfret, Palmer Arboretum in Woodstock, and Rotary Park in Putnam; and tended to the gardens at the Pomfret Senior Center, Most Holy Trinity, and People’s Harvest - Pomfret.
“We are so grateful to Pomfret School volunteers,” says chair of the Palmer Arboretum, Phillippa Paquette. “They cleared skunk cabbage out of a swampy area, raked up leaves, built log bridges, and edged the stream with rocks. Altogether, their service made a significant impact at the Arboretum, and we thank them for their hard work.”
While most students spent time beautifying their community, others had the opportunity to work with clients at the local non-profit organizations. At the Gengras Center in Hartford, ten seniors volunteered as aids in music, gym, and art classes, working with children, teenagers, and young adults with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and related behavioral challenges. At Daily Bread in Putnam, students helped serve clients of the food pantry.
“The feedback from the organizations that hosted us has been overwhelmingly positive. People were really impressed by our students and extremely grateful for our help. We had a tremendous impact in the wider community,” said Director of Wellbeing Erin Fisher, who organized the Day of Service.
While their classmates were working hard to physically improve the community, fourteen students spent time learning how to better the community — and the world — by attending Woodstock Academy’s Human Rights Conference. They learned what they can do to make a change in the areas of healthcare, genocide, homelessness, and disability rights. Meanwhile, the sophomore class spent their day visiting Northeastern University with Pomfret’s College Counseling Office.
“Our students gained a great deal from the different types of learning experiences,” says Fisher.