This year, one of our efforts as a school community was to engage our students in community service. I personally think this is a great idea, especially for mid-elementary students who can be somewhat egocentric. It’s a big wide world out there!
Fortunately for us, our service opportunity was within walking distance of our urban school. Nearby Lincoln Square Park holds a monument to our 16th President and school namesake. In 1908, Lowell schoolchildren raised money toward the monument’s placement, so it seemed an appropriate connection to history to do something at this spot. This link leads to more information about the monument and its recent restoration.
With the help of some outstanding community partners – Washington Savings Bank, Four Seasons Landscaping, and the Steve Purtell of the City Park Department – and our school community, students swept, raked, and picked up this beautiful gem of outdoor space in Lowell. This was the first time planting experience for many of our students. They learned to dig in plants, tap plants out of containers, and even to use rakes and shovels.
But most of all, our students learned that to make a public space pleasant and enjoyable, it takes effort and is the responsibility of everyone in the community.
What better lesson could there be?