In the Primary School, students establish a foundation for dedicated service with a focus on building the habits of service learning. Students explore their roles as individuals, friends, and community members at Fay. They learn what a community is, and how to treat others while serving their communities.
As Primary Schoolers learn that it is cool to be kind, they practice spreading kindness, from writing a thank you note. In second grade, students have taken part in a day long service trip at the nonprofit Cradles to Crayons, where they sort clothes and toys for disadvantaged children.
Lower School students work to identify their role in service projects and the impact they can have with their work. They participate in a holiday gift drive to benefit the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. In fourth grade, students volunteer at Community Harvest Project’s farm in Grafton. Students in fifth and sixth grade serve as recycling helpers around Fay’s campus. They also serve as lunch helpers with the younger students, snack helpers, and also admission ambassadors. With each project, students learn about the issues connected to their service efforts and reflect on their impact.
Lower Schoolers are encouraged to take ownership of their service, and they have frequent opportunities to determine how they want to help solve problems.
In Upper School, our students consider service learning to be a part of their day and an important part of their Fay experience.
Seventh graders learn about the importance of meeting basic needs. With a focus on the environment, they conduct their own research. Then, students use the design thinking process to brainstorm solutions and create prototypes for tools that can help in our Center for Creativity & Design.
Eighth graders address the themes of inclusion, and their winter term project focuses on honoring and including people with special needs. Students learn about several categories of disabilities, including physical, cognitive, and sensory impairment, from speakers who share insights into issues around access and inclusion. They incorporate this research into projects in their Creators class, where they learn about the principles of universal design and take on the design challenge of researching, designing, and building a model that would make a particular space more usable, accessible, or inclusive. As a culminating event, eighth graders welcome athletes from the Special Olympics of Massachusetts to campus as part of Fay’s longstanding commitment to hosting the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament.
Ninth graders focus on the themes of esteem and self realization through early childhood education. They partner with Head Start in Worcester to learn more about the needs of the local children who participate in the program; they learn about the importance of education in leading a life of choice. Students work in small groups to design lessons and create children’s books that celebrate the importance of literacy in all of our lives.
Upper School students have additional opportunities to participate in service projects throughout the school year that align with their grade-level themes. Within Fay’s own community and in the surrounding communities as well.