Browne Academy started a new tradition this Martin Luther King Day. Instead of taking Monday, January 21, as a holiday, Browne honored Dr. King’s legacy by having a school-wide day of service. All students from preschool through 8th grade gave back to the community.
Our youngest students (preschool-kindergarten) headed to Goodwin House, a local retirement community, where they brought joy to the residents with musical performances and Valentine’s decorations.
The 1st and 2nd grades assembled Browne Bags of Love (packed lunches) for the Carpenter’s Shelter, a local homeless shelter that provides temporary housing for women and children in need.
Leading up to the day of service, the entire school participated in a coat and canned food drive. The 3rd and 4th graders traveled to the Harbor Light Salvation Army in Washington, DC, to deliver the donated food and some of the coats. While there, they helped clean the building’s chapel.
Once all the lower school students were back on campus, they gathered to eat and hear a presentation by Nate Woldu, from the P.U.S.O. Foundation (and also a former Browne student), who accepted the rest of the donated coats to help those in need locally and abroad. The students also screened a movie that the 3rd grade produced about the boomerang effect of kindness.
On the middle school side, Browne’s 5th, 6th, and 7th graders attended Volunteer Arlington’s opening activities. Afterward, the 5th and 7th graders traveled to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Arlington where they participated in a Youth Service America training about leading service projects. The 6th graders visited Culpepper Garden Affordable Senior Living where they played board games and made welcome kits with the residents.
Finally, 8th grade went to Ron Brown High School in Washington, D.C, to attend an opening program from City Year before making scarves and putting together essentials kits for the homeless. These items will be distributed via Thrive DC.
All students reflected on what the day of service meant to them. Eighth grader Zoe N. appreciated the opportunity to help others. “It helped me meet new people; I talked to two other women as we made scarves.” Zoe said she looks forward to helping others in the future.
Browne Academy’s Head of School Peggy Otey was pleased with the inaugural day of service. “Browne Academy’s mission and core values of excellence, diversity, character, and community align wonderfully with Dr. King’s beliefs. What better way is there to honor him than to come together to help those in need? Browne Academy looks forward to making our MLK day of service an annual, eagerly anticipated tradition.”