On Saturday, our students enjoyed our Spring Morning of Service for their last Saturday School Day of the year. And yes, it was a School Day. Some of the best lessons are often learned by doing, and that is just what our students had the chance to do.
Of course, there were plenty of tasks to do like weeding, raking, painting, constructing things from walkways to boat cranes, trash pick-up, planting, baking, dusting, and even providing patient advice to non-tech natives. The tasks are one thing to learn. It is good to know how to bake bread and cookies, it is also great to master the skills involved in using power tools, or simple hand tools. How about learning to paint nicely or to identify a weed or poison ivy or native plants, maybe even edible ones.
But it is what is beyond the tasks that perhaps provides even broader learning. Working with others you may or may not know well is a big one: taking instructions, leading, trusting, and building a team. How about learning about the value and dedication of volunteers, many of them retirees well into their late 70s – early 80s, who worked hard alongside the students as they showed them how to take care of our town parks and church yards. How about learning from an expert on native plant species, also a retiree engaged in a new passion, as they planted wild strawberries along a new pathway. Do you think the students made the association that they were among committed citizens and life-long learners? Do you think they might have felt that great feeling of achievement after a job well done?
If they were listening, the students heard about the mission of some of the organizations they worked for. The Church of the Good Shepherd, our students learned, provides a weekly meal to area residents in need of a healthy meal and some fellowship as they baked dinner rolls and cookies to augment their table. Maybe some students wondered if they could help their local churches at home provide the same type of service to people in need. The Sippican Lands Trust and the Marion Recreation Department shared their goals of opening more open space access for people to enjoy the harbor and the woodlands around Marion. Our students participated in those goals by building a 1/4-mile-long boardwalk to a local beach, constructing a boat crane, and prepping two Bullseye sailboats for launch for the new Community Boating program in Marion. Maybe some of our students thought about what service, skill, idea, or time they could offer to start a new community project in their own towns.
If they learned none of the above, there is no doubt that they enjoyed a beautiful spring day under warm, sunny skies, in one of the most beautiful towns in New England. That too is something to learn….to enjoy the beauty around you.
Many thanks to our many teachers and sponsors throughout the Town of Marion and in the surrounding towns of the Southcoast. All of us at Tabor appreciate all you do to improve our communities and to provide such excellent examples of citizenship and leadership to our students.