Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Out of the Classrom and Serving the Community

In the midst of a week of DC-CAS testing, AP practice tests, and college tours, juniors spent their Thursday and Friday mornings volunteering in the nearby community.  On Thursday, students made the short trip to Congress Heights to partner with Behrend Builders from the DC Jewish Community Center to beautify the gardens and courtyards at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, which was established in 1855 as the first large-scale federally run psychiatric hospital in the United States.  Originally serving nearly 7,000 residents, it now provides residential treatment for 280 patients.  Equipped with gloves, shovels, and trowels, students pulled weeds and cleaned the courtyards of the hospital to make the outdoor spaces more enjoyable for staff, clients and visitors.

Darricka Allen proudly displays a heap of weeds.

Students spent Friday morning hauling large debris and trash from nearby Shepherd Parkway, one of DC’s most neglected wooded areas.   The steep incline and deeply embedded trash provided an extra challenge leading students to problem solve and use teamwork to drag discarded furniture, rubble, and automobile tires (some even as large monster trucks) to the top of hill and thrown into the dumpster.  Congress Heights Community Association periodically hosts clean-up days of Shepherd Parkway, follow the Restore Shepherd Parkway Community Blog and  TMA's community service blog  for dates and ways to volunteer in the future! 
Cornell Thornydyke gets help from Ms. Boehle-Silva.

A team effort at work!
In a 90 minutes, students filled a dumpster and collected this mountain of tires
D'Ionni Michals-Phillips and Kenyana Williams armed with their newly found debris

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