The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

Dedicated Service

Fay students find meaning through service.

Dedicated Service is one of Fay’s core values, and it is part of the program at every grade level. Our students learn early on that it’s important to make a positive difference in the world, and this perspective is intrinsic to how we see ourselves as members of the global community.
Primary School
In the Primary School, students establish a foundation for dedicated service with a focus on developing empathy and building community. 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 they can help to solve problems, and they use the design thinking process to design, build, test, and improve solutions to everyday problems. They also learn that it is cool to be kind, and they practice spreading kindness, from writing a thank you note to a veteran to publicly thanking our dining service team at lunch. 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
Lower School students are actively involved in service projects both on and off-campus. They conduct a holiday gift drive to benefit the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and a food drive to benefit Veterans Inc. They volunteer at Community Harvest Project’s farm in Grafton, and they serve as recycling helpers around Fay’s campus. 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. For a recent fall day of service on campus, for example, Lower Schoolers decided that they would help beautify campus by working with the facilities team to plant mums. 
Upper School
In Upper School, our students continue to participate in service learning projects that connect to our tenets of empathy, purpose, and connection.

Seventh graders learn about food waste and food insecurity. They conduct their own research, including interviews with experts from local nonprofits such as the The Farmer Entry Project, which helps train new farmers to work in sustainable ways; and Lovin’ Spoonfuls, the largest food rescue organization in New England. 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 love and 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 of a change to Fay’s campus 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 address issues of equity and inclusion. 
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, students serve as helpers in the Primary and Lower School. They also volunteer at local food pantries and homeless shelters, by teaching Special Olympics classes to younger participants, and at numerous other local community events.

Empathy, Purpose, and Connection

The three main tenets of Dedicated Service at Fay are empathy, purpose, and connection. Craig Ferraro, Fay’s Service Learning Coordinator, stresses that service can be life-changing. “When we connect with others, and when we cultivate empathy and a sense of purpose, we move beyond ourselves.”  The foundation for a meaningful life is laid while serving others.  Students who graduate from Fay learn first-hand that through selfless acts, both big and small, they can make a positive difference. 

Making a Positive Difference

"One of my favorite parts of the day is when I go down to the Primary School to be a P.E. helper. I love talking with the kids and getting to know them, and it's nice knowing that I can be a role model for them. Whenever one of the Primary Schoolers sees me as I'm walking across campus, they get so excited!” -Fay 8th grader

Please fill out the form below to start the enrollment process and to receive information about our programs and upcoming events.

main number 508-490-8250
admission 508-490-8201