This day serves as a chance for students in our IL classes (student-led Impact Learning classes assigned by grade level) to go out and make a change, whether big or small.
Each year, The Winchendon School highlights its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through DEI Week. This event was founded by students and continues to be student-led by Service-Learning Leaders. Because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, DEI week will be virtual this year. This global crisis has shed light on many of our strengths and challenges as a diverse, inclusive and equitable global community. Each of us is experiencing this pandemic differently depending on so many different factors including nationality, income level, race, ethnicity, age, ability, gender, sexuality, and so much more. This week, we hope you will take time to think about your own experience and that of people very different from yourself.
Each day you will get a list of activities and resources to use including:
❏ Photo/Video Challenges
❏ Virtual Discussions
❏ Film/Movie Recommendations
❏ Poetry & Creative Arts Competition
❏ Individual and/or Family Activities
Unlike previous years, we are not able to form Cross-Cultural Teams for a competition. However, we will give out a grand prize of $100 to the student or faculty who participates the most in the activities offered. The $100 will be donated in your name to the organization of your choice to help during the COVID-19 crisis.
So check out what we have planned. Get involved! Get your family involved! And share what you’re doing on social media using with #DEIwinchendon, #thewinchendonschool, or email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This document outlines the challenges for the 5 days of DEI Week 2020. You can download the document or sign up for email reminders for the daily events.
The Winchendon School Service Learning group is hosting a fundraiser “Yo Soy Boricua” Gala fundraiser to raise money for victims of Hurricane Maria. This will be a formal event with food, music, dancing, and raffles.
Hurricane Maria was the worst natural disaster to hit Puerto Rico in 89 years, wiping out the entire electrical grid and 80% of the islands agricultural industry. It has been six months since the hurricane and families are still struggling to make basic ends meets especially water, electricity, food, and employment. To date, over 200,000 people are still without power and tens of thousands are without potable water. Here is a short video capturing the effects of Hurricane Maria 6 months later. Our fundraiser aims to help families who are living both in Puerto Rico, as well as those who were evacuated here to Massachusetts.
Many families were forced to make the difficult choice to leave their homes and move to the mainland of the United States to ensure safe living conditions for their children and families. To date, Massachusetts has welcomed over 2400 students from Puerto Rico who were displaced by the storm. In January, The Winchendon School welcomed two students from Puerto Rico, Khalyl Lopez Morales, and Bianca Ortiz. Khalyl has shared his story with our community of how he and his mother, grandmother and two dogs lost their entire home, suffered immense hardship including having to live in their car without electricity and running water. Hundreds of families have experienced similar struggles and need our support to rebuild their lives in Puerto Rico and right here in Massachusetts.
The event is on Thursday, April 5th at 6:30 pm.
- Tickets cost $10 for students and $20 for adults.
- Special shirts are also on sale for $25 and will count as dress code for TWS student for the spring semester and Winch Green thereafter.
- Students may charge tickets and shirt costs to their student accounts.
- Checks can also be made out to The Winchendon School.
All proceeds will be donated to The Spanish American Center to support victims living here locally in Massachusetts, as well as those in Puerto Rico.
Over 100 students, faculty, and friends of the school gathered in Trustees Hall to taste authentic Puerto Rican food while hearing first-hand accounts of life after Hurricane Maria and how much has changed on the island since the hurricane hit. Attendees also received an important reminder from TWS parent Doña Hernandez, residents of Puerto Rico are also citizens of the United States. “We are all brothers; we are all sisters. We must help each other”, she added.
Like 6% of the students on Puerto Rico, TWS students Bianca O.’20 and Khalyl M.’19 left the island after the hurricane. They shared their personal and immensely moving stories of surviving not just the hurricane but also the aftermath. The audience heard of living in a car, of not knowing how, where, or when one would find safe drinking water or food and learned how severe depression can overcome those who live through a natural disaster.
The gathering discovered the real needs of the people living on the island and of the issues facing those who left the island and settled here in North Central Massachusetts. Armed with information, service-learning students can now pinpoint where to focus fundraising and set on a course to provide some relief for the hurricane victims.
“I am so proud of The Winchendon School students and staff, this is a great accomplishment!” Service Learning mentor, Kelly Harris was speaking about the gift of Thanksgiving meals from the Community Dinners Service Learning group to the Winchendon Community Action Committee (C.A.C.). This week, The Winchendon School (TWS) Service Learning group, Community Dinners, stopped by to surprise the C.A.C. with $1725 to help support Thanksgiving meals. What makes this truly great? When the students heard the need, within one week they raised the funds to provide the 115 Thanksgiving turkeys.
The “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 ended the “War to End all War.” In 1919, President Wilson named the anniversary of the armistice signing a national day of celebration to be known as Armistice Day. In 1954, President Eisenhower expanded the reach to celebrate the nation’s recognition for all those who have served in the Armed Forces.
As The Winchendon School (TWS) observes Veteran’s Day, we want to take the time to recognize the work being done by our own Service Learning group, Veterans Outreach.
Will H. ‘19, (above) the student leader for Veterans Outreach, comes from a family with a strong history of serving in the Navy. Will first chose Veterans Outreach for his Service Learning project his first year, largely in part because of his family background. When he learned the Service Learning project was in need of new student leadership, Will stepped up to the opportunity. Now, Will provides the leadership to 11 members of the team.
Service Learning differs from community service in several key ways. Creating partnerships with local community organizations is one way in which service learning and community service differ. The TWS Service Learning group partnered with the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center for the past three years.
The Outreach Center helps local veterans with issues including housing, transportation, food insecurity, and mental health. This year, the Service Learning group is working on helping the Outreach Center with funding by holding a raffle for Bruins and Celtics tickets.
“We’ll start selling the raffle tickets after the Thanksgiving break and everyone in the community is encouraged to buy raffle tickets,” Will said recently. “Tickets will be $5 for your first raffle ticket and $3 for every one after the first.”
The raffle is the group’s largest fundraiser for the year and all proceeds go directly to the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center.