Community-centered work is a key part of the Adolescent Program (AP) at Arbor. The presence of our oldest students is felt in every classroom—on Pizza Days, through Market pop ups and Coffee Corners, reading to our Primary students, and more. More than ever, serving our community is deeply important to our students. Many of our AP’s typical leadership opportunities were interrupted at the onset of the global pandemic, and continue to be impacted by COVID-19 as the year progresses.
While our adolescents’ community work may look different this year, the need for it is stronger than ever. Students have enthusiastically stepped up to these new challenges, working with purpose and boundless creativity. And while observing social distancing!
Finishing the New AP Shed
After their construction unit was put on hold during shelter in place orders in the spring, AP students restarted their work on the new shed over the summer. Students visited campus a few at a time, persevering through the heat and humidity to finish the job.
Welcoming Feathered Classmates
This spring, the AP’s newest group of chicks moved into the home of one of our Adolescent Guides, Rus George, until they grew large enough to integrate into the chicken coop on Arbor’s campus. They made the move in late summer, and are thriving! Our toddlers especially love their walks over to the chicken coop to observe their feathered friends.
Refreshing the Community Garden
If you have an Upper Elementary student going through carpool at the former Masonic Lodge, you may have noticed the flurry of activity over at the community garden. Our adolescents are working in concert with our guides, and our community gardeners to complete a major facelift of the garden. They’ve even gotten their families to pitch in, organizing a family work day to build new raised beds, lay down weed barrier, and mulch around the garden borders.
All of this work has purpose. First, it orients our adolescents in the world around them, and in their community of family and friends. Second, it is inspiring to watch our students engage in this work; we love to watch them grow into remarkable people who embody Arbor’s mission.
We are grateful for the community we’re building together, and the spirit of perseverance that radiates out of all the children we serve.