We encourage all boys to make Service Learning a regular component of their schedule at Fenn. Below are some of the programs which they can choose from.
Description: Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly-new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers and distributed to disadvantaged children across the state through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners.
Fenn students involved with this project will plan with the clothing drive to collect donations to be delivered to the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory Warehouse. We have scheduled a Fenn Family Day at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory warehouse where we get to roll up our sleeves and help disadvantaged young children in Massachusetts by inspecting, sorting, and packaging all new and like-new donations into customized “KidPacks.”
Description: The Concord Crop Walk is a 7km walk through historic Concord Center. CROP Hunger Walks are "Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty"-- neighbors walking together to take a stand against hunger in our world. Funds raised by the Concord area CROP Walk go for worldwide emergency relief of disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes; for refugee aid; and for fighting the root causes of hunger through community development programs in 80 underdeveloped countries. In addition, one quarter of the funds raised provides substantial contributions to ten local food pantry programs.
Grades: Lower and Middle School
Description: Gaining Ground is a “soup kitchen garden” here in Concord which produces organically grown fruits and vegetables that are donated to local food pantries (such as Open Table Pantry) and various area shelters. In the fall, we help harvest crops and prepare the garden beds for their winter rest. In the spring, we plant seeds and seedlings. Each year, with the help of volunteer labor, we are able to donate thousands of pounds of produce to food pantries and shelters. Elise Mott and Winnie Smith chaperone the Gaining Ground visits.
Description: Green Team is a team of Lower School boys that help with recycling efforts across the school. The boys assist with collecting the bins across the campus and emptying them in the tall brown toters. This requires a commitment of one day per week where the boys grab their lunch and then complete their task for about twenty minutes. This helps our maintenance staff immensely and is a huge part of Fenn's commitment to sustainability.
Description: Over the last few years, thanks to the efforts of Ewing, Solomon, and other Fenn families, we were able to participate in a quite extraordinary event. Many Fenn students and their families spent the morning cleaning and completely setting up (furniture, wall hangings, toiletries, food in the cupboards and refrigerator, etc.) an apartment in Dorchester for a homeless family. Heading Home’s mission is to end homelessness in Greater Boson by providing housing in conjunction with effective support services to help change the conditions that create homelessness. Over two thousand homeless and low-income people were served by one or more of their programs in the last year. They placed 112 families and 58 individuals into permanent, supportive housing, and 90% of the residents in their permanent housing programs remained successful housed.
In addition to helping support 1-2 “up and out” moves, Fenn will provide opportunities for groups of students to sponsor birthday and/or holiday parties for Heading Home families. If you are a parent willing to coordinate a party sponsorship activity/drive for your son’s advisor group, class, or grade, please contact Elise Mott or Winnie Smith.
Due to the popularity of the "Up & Out" Moves and the limited space in the apartments we are setting up, we request that participants on move day be limited to Fenn boys and one parent.
Grades: Lower School (Grades 4 & 5)
Description: The Concord Land Conservation Trust, a non-profit organization run by dedicated volunteers to preserve the town’s natural heritage, owns some of the nicest “green spaces” in Concord. It relies on volunteer individuals and groups to help maintain its properties. Over the past several years, groups of lower schoolers grabbed rakes, shovels and pruners to help create and maintain trails, repair damage caused by dirt bikes, and remove harmful invasive plants. We can take up to fifteen lower school student volunteers each time. Mr. Smith chaperones our Land Trust outings.
Description: Open Table Pantry is located at the Unitarian Church in Concord. Open Table provides dinner and a bag of groceries to those in our community who need help acquiring food. Fenn vans transport 150-200 bags of groceries to the church from where the food is stored (near the Armory). Our contribution to the overall effort is important and very much appreciated. It is our hope that during the year the majority of our middle schoolers will help at least once with this service activity.
In addition to helping transport groceries, Fenn also supports Open Table with a canned food drive - coordinated by the school senate - and holiday turkey drive each November. Parent volunteers are needed to help transport these goods to the pantry during the drive. Please contact Fenn PA liaison Sufia Jamal if you are an adult interested in helping out with this project.
Description: Each year on the first Sunday in May, Mrs. MacLellan leads "Team Fenn" in the Walk for Hunger. Last year, about thirty Fenn boys participated in the twenty mile walk, raising several thousand dollars in pledges for Project Bread. Project Bread is the state's leading anti-hunger organization, providing millions of dollars each year to more than 400 emergency food programs in 128 communities statewide. The boys get a great workout for a great cause.
Description: In preparation for Concord's Patriots Day celebration, the Natural Resources Commission encourages participation in Concord Cleanup Week. Each year, Fenn does its part. After school on the Tuesday before Patriots Day, we will take volunteers with litter bags in hand on a cleanup walk around Fenn and our surrounding area. The route we take will be weather dependent, but includes some important sections along roads that the town really wants looking good for the annual celebration.
Grades: Lower School
Description: After researching and following the Iditarod Race in Alaska for the second year, we figured out the real heroes of this race: the dogs! Join us as we make cozy fleece blankets for the mushers to use for their dogs during training runs and during the actual race. We will be measuring, cutting, folding and packaging the blankets for shipment to Alaska.
Description: Some senior citizens still live in their homes, but do not have the physical ability to do all of the work to maintain their property. These individuals can request a “Dream Team” to come to their homes to do such things as raking leaves, trimming shrubs, turning over mattresses, and bringing lawn furniture into or out of the basement.
Description: OARS volunteers will walk along the banks and wade into the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers and tributaries to continue the effort to restore our beautiful river. Trash, tires, bottles, car parts, bicycles – whatever we find that shouldn't be there – will be collected for more appropriate disposal. There is lots of work to be done.
This September morning of dirty, satisfying work has become a regional tradition for individuals and teams from local businesses, civic associations, scout troops, and high schools. We will be working in Westborough, Northborough, Framingham, Wayland, Sudbury, Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard, Acton, Concord, and Billerica. The cleanup will be followed by a pizza lunch and celebration along the rivers.
We hope that Fenn School students and parents will join us in Concord this year. The meeting location will be decided in September. OARS provides work gloves and bags for collecting the trash. We require and will provide permission slips for students to get their parent’s signature. We ask that all participants wear long pants and shoes that can get wet and very dirty.
OARS is the watershed organization working to protect, improve, and preserve the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers, their tributaries and watersheds for the purposes of public recreation, water supply, and wildlife habitat.