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Small School, BIG Heart

One of Marvelwood’s greatest strengths and sources of pride lies in our connection to our community. As we approach the season of giving, I’m proud to take this opportunity to highlight our Community Service program, where our students and faculty are making a meaningful impact on the lives of others all year long.

Many schools speak of a dedication to service. When you look closer, though, you learn that that dedication involves a joining a club, or a school-wide project one day a year, or requires students to identify and complete their own service project on their own time outside of school, checking off a box that may or may not be required for graduation and the spirit of which does not resonate within the school’s mission.

But at Marvewood, service to others means dedicated weekly time for each student to give back to the local community through a yearlong commitment to a great cause. It’s been a vital part of our weekly programming since the school’s founding in 1956. In our earliest years, our location in the tiny rural town of Cornwall lent itself to the development of a program of helping our immediate neighbors with home improvement projects, household chores and yard work, and small-scale farming. As the school grew and our reach expanded, we moved into neighboring communities to add schools, animal shelters, day care centers and environmental organizations to the mix.

This year, our students are engaged in meaningful work at 26 different service placements across Litchfield County. These activities include:

  • Property management at Sharon Audubon, Pond Mountain Preserve, and Marvelwood’s own blueberry orchard.

  • Developing and delivering children’s programming at three local nursery and elementary schools and the Kent Memorial Library.

  • Tending plants, crops, chickens, ducks and sheep at a variety of local working farms and in our own greenhouse and organic garden.

  • Helping the town of Kent’s most precious resources – its people – through volunteerism at the firehouse and the senior center.

  • Promoting social awareness on campus via the Cultural and Social Awareness group, the Halls & Walls decorating committee, and the school newspaper.

  • Advancing environmental stewardship as part of Marvelwood’s Avian Ambassadors, Animation for Conservation, and recycling programs.

Not only is this work good for the community, it’s good for our students. Through their participation, they gain an awareness of the world outside the classroom. They also begin to recognize their individual skills and talents, and see how those talents can have a positive impact on those around them.

We hope that awareness, compassion, empathy and generosity will become a natural way of life for our students -- values that will take hold and forever become a part of who they are. As the holidays approach and school vacations loom, we encourage our students and families alike to start thinking ahead about ways they can give back and make an impact in their own communities this season. Volunteer your time, donate your energy, and give with your whole heart. It’s the Marvelwood way.

To learn more about the Marvelwood's community service program we invite you to schedule a tour, fill out an inquiry form or apply to join our next generation of Pterodactyls!