Community Service Day at Inly was About Making Connections

The Parents Group Steering Committee, in coordination with the Community Service After School Program, sponsored an all-school Community Service Day for Inly families in honor of Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11, 2010. Although there was no school that day, Inly families were invited to participate in any of these projects:

  • Campus clean-up
  • Card making for veterans
  • Coin collection for veterans
  • Collections for soldiers
  • Singing at Sunrise Assisted Living in Cohasset

The day was very successful as families joined together to work, meet new friends in different grades, and collaborate in their thinking about veterans. Following is a personal account of the day from an Inly parent.

A Parent’s Thoughts on Community Service Day at Inly

By Shannon Harper-Bison, Inly Parent

Community Service Day at Inly is about creating connection for our kids. It’s not about feeding their sweet little egos about how good they are or what a difference they made. Sure our kids will feel good when they do good, but at their age it’s not about saving the world or giving back or making a difference or  building character or self-sacrifice.

It’s fun to rake leaves on the Arts Barn lawn, make a card for a veteran, sing for the appreciative people at Sunrise Assisted Living;  it’s easy to donate Beanie Babies, cast-off phones, couch-caught-coins for a worthy cause. Truly, these efforts are small and easy to do, and granted they probably did brighten someone’s day just a little.  That’s nice, but the real gain is in getting our kids to connect with something outside their norm—an idea, a person, a piece of history—and cultivate an awareness that not much separates us from each other.

I was struck on Thursday by a few things.  I heard no complaints, from my own children or any other, about being at school on our day off. I was humbled to watch one of Inly’s own staff members take a moment to collect his thoughts before speaking briefly about being a Vietnam Veteran. I was impressed by the earnest care and concentration the littlest Inly kids gave towards making thank-you cards for veterans. My heart was warmed at the enthusiasm and patriotism shared by Sunrise residents, so many of whom are veterans, and their hospitality in letting us chat with them long after the singing had ended.

And finally, I was struck by how easily kids can connect, effortlessly bringing intrinsic joy to what they do. I’m not sure they knew it was “service”;  perhaps we should call it Community Connection Day.

Making connections—how Inly!

Photos by Muffy Antico, Inly Parent

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