Community Service Thriving this Winter

Community Service Thriving this Winter
Suzanne Morrissey

Under the guidance of Director of Community Service and math faculty member Maria Found, Brewster’s students have amazing opportunities to give back to others, even during the pandemic. As the temps have dropped this winter, hearts have been warmed by students working on projects larger than themselves. Here are just a few highlights, in case your heart needs some warming! 

Across the country, hearty souls brave frigid waters to take a plunge for the Special Olympics, and here at Brewster, our brave Bobcats get to dip into our beloved Lake Winnipesaukee! The Best Buddies Club, which pairs our students with those with intellectual disabilities for fun and fellowship, boasted 31 students and faculty who scampered out from the warmth of the Pinckney Boathouse, across the snow, and into the lake for this exceptional cause. Mrs. Found gave a shout out to her husband, Mr. Matt Found, and Mr. Kyle Williams (our Waterfront Coordinator) for “cutting out that huge chunk of ice for us to jump in!” adding, “Wonderful job from all the student volunteers, those cheering on the students and faculty, and of course, our plungers showing their support for Special Olympics in the annual Prep School Plunge.” 

See a video compilation of our 32 plungers and event day highlights here. One of our plungers sent a video in from Korea! See photos and videos here and here

The new Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Club (JEDI) hosted a successful program on February 11, 2021, for International Girls and Women in Science Day. The brainchild of new student Hiba Al-Nabhani ’22, the event came together quickly with the help of students Kaeli Bennett ‘ 21, Sylvie Skibicki ‘23, and Lila Glanville ’22, as well as former Brewster Trustee Nancy Black, who spread the word in the Wolfeboro community. 

“We crafted a presentation about nine women in science we wanted to highlight,” says Mrs. Found, “and each of us took turns sharing interesting information about these powerful scientists.” The featured women included physician and astronaut Mae Jemison, biologist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, and chemist and DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin. A Q&A session and trivia game followed. After the event, women representing the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) asked the Brewster students to stay online. “They awarded each one of our students a certificate for their presentation!” Mrs. Found reports. 

The littlest participants attended the virtual event with their parents, of course, who shared their excitement about the unique event. Said one mom, "My Kenzie loved it, so please get in touch if you do any more events like this!” Another said, "Wow! Congratulations to your students for an excellent job in presenting—that skill will be important throughout their careers.”

Sometimes community service means serving those right here in our campus community. Brewster Big Friends (BBF) hosted an online Valentine event for faculty children full of fun games including a Valentine-themed escape room, word search, dance party, “Simon Says,” Kahoot trivia, and Mad Libs. 

No round up of service activities at Brewster would be complete without mentioning RAK (the Random Acts of Kindness Club). Each year, the group sells Valentine’s Day surprises with uplifting messages to help fund its activities throughout the year. And this year, when it feels we need kindness more than ever, RAK handed out more than 200 surprises throughout the community. RAK’s biggest annual event, the much-anticipated RAK Week, gets underway February 21, 2021. Mrs. Found and her team of volunteers always have a full slate of sweet and special ways to spread kindness at Brewster, including a chance to order chocolate roses to bring a smile to a friend (proceeds benefiting our local animal shelter!). The kindness just keeps growing! 

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