Our School, Our Community, Our World
Central to Far Brook’s purpose is "to create a supportive and caring community." We also teach "in an environment … where character and citizenship are valued." Service learning, an exciting and growing program that includes contributing to the School, to the local community, and to the world at large, is part of that mission. One way to support this effort is to provide meaningful opportunities for students of every grade level to contribute.
Our goal is to inspire our students to become compassionate leaders and caring citizens of the world.
Far Brook has a number of exciting ongoing community service programs. The children at all grade levels have daily assigned chores to help maintain and operate the School. These range from getting fruit from the kitchen for the classroom to putting up chairs to facilitate floor cleaning at the end of the day. Older children may be asked to help out with special projects, such as setting up for a school orchestra concert. Seventh Grade students volunteer at local soup kitchen.
To strengthen the community bonds at Far Brook, older children work with younger children. All students from Fourth Grade up usher younger ones in the rehearsals and performance of the Thanksgiving Processional, Sixth Graders work with Kindergartners to put on the annual Medieval Feast, and Seventh Graders walk our younger students to our classrooms during morning carpool.
For the past three years, students in the Lower School have worked together to package donated mittens, socks, and hats for children who are supported by the Interfaith Hospitality Network. Students write and decorate notes of encouragement and package them with a clothing item and hot cocoa packet. First Graders, as part of their study of patterns, make a quilt together to donate to hospitalized children. Second Graders collect and count Halloween donations to UNICEF as part of their math curriculum. Fourth Graders donate books and clothing to a kindergarten in Newark. Junior High students direct the School’s recycling program, assist with the After-School Program, organize an annual coat drive, sing each year at a local nursing home. Junior High students also participate in "Service Days" which involve such things as working at local soup kitchens, sorting food for the Community Food Bank of NJ, and assembling hygiene kits for earthquake victims.
Like many schools, Far Brook is a member of Girls Learn International (GLI), "a non-profit organization working to support girls' quality education in places around the globe where girls have traditionally been denied access to education. Through their participation in GLI, [students] will help to empower their counterparts in Partner Classrooms, will increase their own global knowledge, and in the process will empower themselves." [Source: Girls Learn International]
In addition, the Directors of the Upper and Lower Schools from time to time coordinate service projects to respond to emergent needs in the community, the state, the country, and the world.