by Cory Stephenson
Ninth and tenth grade students received a hands-on introduction to the principles and practice of community service through our first official Public Purpose Day on September 5.
This initiative was borne out of a major grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation and starts to lay the programmatic groundwork for the future Kay R. Hagan Center for Public Purpose. Students in the ninth grade, along with faculty and staff, set out to volunteer at four organizations that serve the greater Greensboro community: Peacehaven Farm, Backpack Beginnings, PDY & F Community Garden, and Community Housing Solutions.
Sophomores visited multiple Tiny House communities in Greensboro and High Point to see where the labor of their Tiny House CLEAR Lab will eventually bear fruit. These shared experiences were designed to set a precedent for continued community engagement on the part of GDS upper schoolers.
In the afternoon, students got more of a philosophical understanding of the missions and impacts of four well-established nonprofit organizations in Greensboro. Speakers from the United Way of Greater Greensboro, the YWCA, NCCJ, and the Newcomers School all gave insight into the critical services they provide to individuals, youth, and families in our community. We are so fortunate to be able to partner with so many community groups who are eager to share their public purpose with us!
We are grateful to Nathan Ross, who is coordinating public purpose programming in the Upper School this year as our first-ever Public Purpose Leader.