We encourage all students to make Service Learning a regular component of their schedule at Fenn. Below are some of the programs that they can choose.
Cradles to Crayons
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 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 collect donations that will ultimately be delivered to the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory Warehouse. During a designated "Fenn Family Day" at the warehouse, we will then roll up our sleeves and inspect, sort, and package 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” in Concord that 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.
Description: Green Team is a team of Lower School boys that helps 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 supports Fenn's commitment to sustainability.
Description: Heading Home’s mission is to end homelessness in Greater Boson by providing housing in conjunction with 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 & Out” Moves, Fenn will provide opportunities for groups of students to sponsor birthday and/or holiday parties for Heading Home families.
Land Conservation Trust
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. During recent years, groups of lower schoolers have grabbed rakes, shovels, and pruners to help create and maintain trails, repair damage caused by dirt bikes, and remove harmful invasive plants.
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 food drives coordinated by the school senate.
Walk for Hunger
Description: Each year in May, "Team Fenn" participates in the 20-mile Walk for Hunger, raising thousands of dollars in pledges for Project Bread. Project Bread is the state's leading anti-hunger organization, contributing 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.
Concord Clean Up Day
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, volunteers with litter bags in-hand will go 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.
Blanket Making for Iditarod Dogs
Grades: Lower School
Description: After researching and following the Iditarod Race in Alaska, we figured out the real heroes of this race: the dogs! All are welcome to 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 measure, cut, fold, and package the blankets for shipment to Alaska.
Dream Team for Senior Citizens
Description: Senior citizens who still live in their homes but are unable to do all of the work to maintain their property can request a “Dream Team” to come to their homes to rake leaves, trim shrubs, turn over mattresses, bring lawn furniture into or out of basements, and so much more.
Description: OARS is the watershed organization working to protect, improve, and preserve the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers and their tributaries and watersheds for the purposes of public recreation, water supply, and wildlife habitat.
OARS volunteers walk along the banks and wade into these beautiful waterways to collect trash, tires, bottles, car parts, bicycles – whatever we find that shouldn't be there – for more appropriate disposal.
This dirty, yet satisfying, work has become a regional tradition for individuals and teams from local businesses, civic associations, scout troops, and high schools. We have worked in Westborough, Northborough, Framingham, Wayland, Sudbury, Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard, Acton, Concord, and Billerica, and the cleanup is normally followed by a pizza lunch and celebration along the rivers.