Pictured above: Director of Service Learning Miranda Jennings with Service Learning Leaders Kiley R.‘19, Taylor A.‘19, and Kylee M.‘20 with the award from Growing Places.
Today in our morning community meeting, The Winchendon School received the 2018 Budding Community Partner Award from Growing Places, the Leominster, MA based nonprofit which inspires and connects the North Central MA community to create equitable access to healthy food and environmental sustainability through education, collaboration, and advocacy.
The Budding Community Partner Award is presented to a business which has volunteered with Growing Places for less than three years and in that time as made a significant contribution to the work of Growing Places. The Winchendon School received the award this year in part for “being a strong partner in Growing Places’ efforts to increase access to healthy, nutritious food. This past summer, the students and their mentor maintained 5 community gardens and donated their harvest to the Community Action Committee. They plan to continue this work in the future with projects including extending the momentum of their community garden efforts, advocating for action regarding [the Town of] Winchendon’s supermarket loss, and improving attendance at farmers markets. These dedicated, passionate students are making their community more inclusive and just through their food access work.”
Kiley R. ’19, a service learning leader developed the Food Justice Service Learning group during her junior year and says,
“I’m really passionate about learning and understanding the issue of hunger and how I can help those impacted by hunger. I utilized service learning to break out my passion and I created the group called Food Justice. I think it’s really important to put yourself into service learning because it really helped me develop as a leader. It helps your public speaking skills, your development as a person and your ability to see the world from different perspectives.”
Want to read more? Learn how Kiley R.’19 captains the Girls’ Varsity Hockey team while furthering her leadership skills in real-world situations through service learning here.