by Jennifer Graham, Co-Chair of Langley’s Day of Giving and Parent of Langley Students in Grades 6 and 8
There are several phrases that are often used to describe The Langley School: great community, motivated and poised students, commitment to service learning. As I have worked on the planning and execution of Langley’s first-ever Week of Giving and Day of Giving, I have had the privilege of seeing all these phrases come to life, and this has served as a great reminder of the special place Langley is.
Almost one year ago, Langley’s 75th Anniversary Committee began brainstorming how to best celebrate this milestone birthday year. As the conversation unfolded, the committee began reflecting on the rich tradition of service that has been woven throughout Langley’s history. This led to the decision that a celebratory event focused on service had to be on the calendar. And so, the Week of Giving, culminating in a Day of Giving, was born. We had big dreams for creating a way for our community to serve together, and at every turn, every sector of our community has far exceeded those expectations.
The Langley administration has supported the Week of Giving by dedicating resources to the project and allowing staff the flexibility to participate in the event planning and execution. The faculty and staff have generously volunteered their free time to serve as sponsors for the student-led donation drives, made countless announcements to students, and even volunteered to serve in a work capacity on the Day of Giving. Our parent and alumni communities have also demonstrated their generosity in so many ways, making financial gifts to pay for the meal-packing supplies, dedicating their time to support their children in the grant-writing process, and clearing time on the family calendar to pack meals on March 17.
While all these groups have been amazing, the true stars of the show have been the Langley students. The number of quarters the kids collected to support the meal-packing was unbelievable and completely overwhelmed our quarter-rolling team, and even our local bank! The generosity of our students will provide over 25,000 meals to people in Puerto Rico. We are pretty sure the students were motivated by serving others, and not just the lure of an ice cream party for the winning homeroom!
Our students also demonstrated their commitment to serving others by writing thoughtful proposals supporting various charities for the Week of Giving donation drive initiative. The selection committee was deeply moved by the passion for service that was so evident in each proposal. And now the entire Langley community is coming together to fill the donation bins in support of these proposals.
To end the week, on Saturday, March 17, over 500 volunteers came together to pack 75,000 meals to donate to the people of Puerto Rico who were impacted by Hurricane Maria. Langley’s gym was transformed into twelve packing stations filled with energetic music and high spirits. Whether portioning rice, weighing packets, sealing packets, or carrying heavy boxes, all ages of volunteers pitched in to make an impact.
So, the phrases that are highlighted in Langley’s marketing are all true! Langley really does have a great community that pulls together to support a common goal (and has a lot of fun together in the process). Langley students are nothing short of amazing, and this is evident more than ever when they are serving others. Finally, Langley really is committed to service learning. The support of the faculty, staff, and administration shows that they firmly believe that service is a key tenant of the Langley educational experience.
My involvement with the Week of Giving has been a great reminder of what makes Langley so special and why it is the perfect place for my children to spend their formative years.
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