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A Day On for Community Service Volunteers

Friday, January 19, 2018
Making meals
Getting ready to make meals for families at the Ronald McDonald House. View more photos.

On Monday, January 15, 2018, the Middle School celebrated "A Day On, Not a Day Off" to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and call for service by completing six service projects, five of them with off-campus components. We have been doing this for nearly a decade.

Middle School students and parents met in the gym for a communal take-and-go breakfast and very short introductory program, before dispersing to a selection of projects in the Alexandria community and a bit beyond. Check out more photos from all these projects.

Bikes packed up
Bikes packed up and ready to ship from Bikes for the World. View more photos.

Many thanks to Arlene Guevara and the members of Parents of African American Students (PAAS), who headed up the Meade Memorial Lunch; to our teachers, home-grown professional chef, humanities teacher Levita Mondie, who led the meal preparation at Ronald McDonald House; to math and science teacher and Sustainability Coordinator Doug Fishman, who led the work at Bikes for the World; to parent Nadia Grenier, who helped us create a scrumptious, nutritious soup for Meade; and to science teacher and Sustainability Co-Coordinator Renee Miller for setting up and Elizabeth Lener for leading the detergent project. Thanks also go to De Shan Lett, my shopping partner, and to parents Ann Blakey, Arlene Guevara, and Amy Heist for helping with organization and purchasing, to alumni Margaret Evans Brown '02 and and Kevin Brown '01 of Groundworks Farm, who donated veggies for the soup, and of course to all the other parent and teacher drivers and participants.

Lower School students will complete a number of projects in honor of MLK Day during this week.

Projects completed Monday were:

  • Members of PAAS led students in making bag lunches at Burgundy to go with the soup prepared at Norton House over the weekend. They then went to Meade Memorial Episcopal Church in Old Town, Alexandria to serve the soup and distribute and serve lunches to clients served by the Meade Lunch Program, which serves lunch to homeless and at-risk people 365 days a year.
  • Students dismantled more than 70 bikes and loaded them in containers for transport to other countries at the Bikes for the World warehouse in Bethesda, Maryland. This shipment of bikes is going to the Philippines, where they will be distributed to students who live far from their schools and are at greater risk of dropping out without bikes.
  • Burgundy collected 1548 pounds of food for ALIVE through our campus-wide food drive.  Burgundy students sorted the food into boxes, and loaded them into the ALIVE truck. They then went to the ALIVE warehouse on Payne Street in Old Town Alexandria to further sort and store the food and see the food distribution operation. ALIVE was grateful and complimentary about our students and families!
  • Under the able direction of Levita Mondie, Middle School teacher and chef, Burgundy students  prepared a full meal for the parents staying at Ronald McDonald House while their children are in the hospital. Our students had a wonderful cooking lesson, and received a booklet of recipes for the chili, cornbread, guacamole and lemonade that they made.
  • The Fund for Alexandria’s Child serves foster children in the City of Alexandria. Our students organized the emergency clothing closet at Alexandria's Human Services Department on Mount Vernon Avenue that contains clothing, diapers, toiletries, etc. for children in need when they enter foster care. They also assembled snack bags for social workers to share with children.
  • Under Elizabeth Lener's direction, students made homemade detergent for Carpenter's Shelter, the largest homeless shelter in Alexandria. Carpenter's Shelter gives detergent to their clients and lets them use washing machines for their clothes and bedding.