All the teachers and students at the SMUS Middle School spent their entire Thursday out in the community. From student musicians performing for senior citizens to students cleaning up parks, there were a wide range of activities on the go. Also on the agenda for service day was dropping off the 946 cans of food raised through Halloween for Hunger to the Mustard Seed Food Bank.
“You get to see the lives of people outside of these walls,” says Director of Service Kevin Cook about the need for community service. “There’s people out there who need our support.”
by Aysha, Grade 6
Service day has opened my feelings and thoughts. I now have even more of an urge to help and give. This morning as I woke up I did not know what to surmise, I was not sure if the day would be rainy or sunny. The moment we got off the bus, I could sense sun coming. We journeyed to the old folks’ home. As you looked around, you saw faces of time, ages almost 10 times your age. We were escorted to a room of elders and we sat next to them. It felt awkward. I felt I didn’t know my place. I tried to break the ice. I thought of how Reverend Fletcher had talked at chapel about depositing into people’s emotional piggy banks and how I wanted to feed those piggy banks. I was thankful when a nurse called us all to play a memory game.
I felt the purpose was to get to know more of your partner’s past. I found it amazing to hear about their life when they were younger. After the game we all chatted and I felt like me and my partner were growing a small bond and I was depositing into her piggy bank. After the care centre, we did active service. We planted trees and weeded weeds. I enjoyed hanging off the slopes. Taking risks I felt free. And I now feel more inclined to help and to serve the world around me. I felt like I was doing something that could help the world. Service day has opened my eyes and I will never forget this day because it was one of the best in my life.
by Lucie and Hannah, Grade 7
On Thursday, November 3, a small group of Grade 7 boys and girls had the privilege to go to the Gendal gardens and extreme outreach to do service. We started off the morning with a wet and messy job, at Gendal Gardens planting trees. We were fortunate enough to have the warm sun shining down on us and to see a beautiful bald eagle perching on the top of a tall tree. Even though we were working with slimy wiggly worms and creepy crawly spiders, we avoided them and got the job done, in the end it was all worth it to see the smiles on the volunteers faces, after all we had fun spending time with our friends. Like Mrs. Lee says, “We take all these things for granted until we realize how much effort it takes for every little thing.”
After that we ate our lunches and hopped on the bus to go to our next service activity; extreme outreach. When we got there we were expecting to visit a kitchen where we would be doing prep work, instead we arrived to see a long table covered in everything from toiletries to stuffed animals. Our job was to sort the items in boxes for the stockings for the homeless people. After that we decorated the place to give it a warm Christmas feeling. In the end looking at the room, it looked amazing, with paper snow flakes hanging from the ceiling, miniature Christmas tree in the corner and even fake snow sprayed on the windows. Overall, it was a great experience and we would definitely like to do it again. Who knew service could be so fun?
by Ian Farish, teacher
The Middle School Jazz Band played two performances on Thursday’s Middle School Service Day. Students played hits from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s for the residents of Highgate Lodge and Marion Village. After the performances, students passed around cookies they had baked and spent some time visiting the residents. There were several SMUS connections made at each venue. One of the residents of Highgate Lodge had children who went through SMUS in the early 90s, and another was a grandmother of one of the sax players in the band. At Marrion Village, two of the residents were in fact parents of current Middle School staff members.
All in all it was a very successful outing. The band played for enthusiastic audiences, and they enjoyed the energy of each room, while bringing their own youthful energy through the music they played.