The skills, knowledge, and power to be the change we want to see.
A Community Commitment
As an exemplary prep school in Massachusetts, we are committed to our students’ character development and require each of our students to participate in year-long Service Learning projects. Our flagship Service Learning program also encourages students to take leadership roles in actively addressing what they see as problematic in the ‘glocal’ community around them. More than community service, it’s a way of thinking about intervention, change, and constructively adding to your community.
Leadership in Action
As the drivers of designing and implementing solutions, our Service Learning Leaders learn invaluable, tangible skills that serve them well in college, in careers, and IRL (in real life).
- Public speaking: Construct a compelling argument and deliver it to your target audience with passion, energy, and cohesion.
- Communication skills: Facilitate diverse groups of people to come together to act with a sense of common purpose. Develop partnerships with external partners and community leaders
- Advanced project planning: Manage multiple human and non-human factors including partnerships, budgets, and timelines. Articulate actionable steps your team and participants can take towards achieving a vision.
- Critical understanding of social justice:
Critically analyzing root causes of injustice and seek to make profound changes in ourselves, our community, and our world.
Beyond Community Service
More than charity or one-off projects, our Service-Learning program engages all of our students and community members in mutually beneficial, sustainable, community-driven development programs that involve students in developing their own story and identity. With over 100 service projects completed, we know Service Learning is fundamental to building character, connecting with the community, and developing leadership skills while taking part in something bigger than yourself. A few student favorites include:
- Ethical Fashion
- Food Waste
- Emergency Response
- Homelessness & Poverty
- Veteran Outreach / Wounded Warrior Project
- Music & Theater for Change
- Gay Straight Alliance
- Diversity, Understanding & Equality
Nicaragua: Global Sustainability & Service
Students learn and work side by side with local communities in Winchendon and then globally in Nicaragua for 10 days to develop critical understandings of sustainability on a personal, local, and global context. Students travel to Nicaragua to live immersed in a rural community in Nindiri, Nicaragua. Working with the non-proﬁt organization Bridges to Community, they support local leaders and citizens to complete community projects. Students develop relationships and dialogue with local leaders and constituents from Winchendon and Nicaragua and take concrete actions to affect sustainability in their own lives and the world.
Commitment to Ethics and Character
Character development is a huge priority at The Winchendon School. The values we strive to instill in all students include:
- Understanding before Action: Thoughtfully approaching a problem with realistic, actionable solutions.
- Partnership not Pity: Collaborating with our community partners to focus on empowerment.
- Process not Projects: Fostering long-term growth through community initiatives to create sustainable change.
- Student Voice, Choice, and Leadership: As Service Learning Leaders, engaging in specific leadership training and then take the reins in their initiatives by selecting, designing, and implementing the projects.
- Disrupting Injustice: Critically analyzing root causes of injustice and seek to make profound changes in ourselves, our community, and our world.