Kensington Woods Schools Gives Back to the Community

Kensington Woods Schools Gives Back to the Community

LAKELAND, MICHIGAN — April 24, 2017 — “Small things can make a big difference when we all work together,” stated Sophomore Mia de la Iglesia when asked why volunteering is important. De la Iglesia volunteered at the Secunda Art Museum during Kensington Woods Schools’ second annual Day of Service on April 13, 2017.

During Day of Service, over 150 Kensington Woods students, grades 6-12, parents and teachers joined together to donate 900 hours of service by volunteering for 12 different organizations around the area. Those organizations included: Livingston Land Conservancy, Art Road Nonprofit, 2|42 Community Church, Huron Meadows Metropark, LACASA, Bountiful Harvest, Light of the World Academy, Howell Teen Center, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Pinckney Community Library, Secunda Art Museum as well as Kensington Woods Schools.

Each organization utilized the students in different ways. Some groups, like Livingston Land Conservancy had students cleaning up invasive species; at Light of the World Academy, students tutored elementary and preschool students in reading and math; at the Howell Teen Center, students cleaned up the grounds of The Hive’s new facility and painted murals. At other sites, students participated in spring cleanups, stocked shelves at Bountiful Harvest and at the Secunda Museum, students inventoried work from Arthur Secunda.

“We made a difference by reducing the workload of tedious tasks such as measuring and recording so that they (the Secunda Museum staff) could focus on bigger goals like obtaining new artworks and displaying them in a meaningful and creative way,” explained Senior Grant Holback.

Kensington Woods designed Day of Service to provide students a valuable experience while the Juniors are taking state tests. It provides students authentic experiences in service, developing character, work collaboratively and a chance to give back to the community, all part of the school’s mission.

“It was wonderful to see my students working together in ways that they don’t normally in their normal school day. Students worked hard, including physically, to give back to local institutions,” said English teacher Ken Ferguson.

As part of the learning process, students learned about the organization they worked with, creating promotional materials and videos to share with the community to encourage others to support the local organizations.

“LACASA makes our county safer.  They help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and provide shelter, counseling services, clothing and other donated items to the people who they help,” explained Zelie-Marie Cesar, a seventh-grader.

When asked why others should volunteer, seventh-grader Gabi Holback, who volunteered at 2|42 Community Church replied, “Volunteering is great because it makes you feel like you’re actually doing something for the community.  It helps you see that the things you do can change the world for the better and it helps people take pride in their community.”

This year, students also spent time volunteering at the school on April 12, cleaning, painting murals, cleaning up the grounds, gardening and more. Students donated over 300 hours of time during the KWoods Day of Service, bringing the total amount of donated time to over 1200 hours.

“This experience helped us to focus on others rather than self,” said eighth-grader Gracie Ryan.  “It taught us that we can do more than we think we can,” added LACASA volunteer Aubrey Wauford, also an eighth-grader.  Student Noah Ankenbrand stated, “Service helps you feel connected to other people and to the community; it makes you view the community with a wider lens.  When you give to others, you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.”

Kensington Woods Day of Service was also supported by local businesses, including J.J. Jinkelheimer, Fly Consulting, Gula Construction Services, Advanced Water Treatment and Well Drilling and Miller Vein.