April 2021

Students Helping the Environment

Kirby School

In its fourth year, Kirby School’s Community Involvement program faced a big challenge: how to help the community when you are restricted from being around people by a pandemic.

In the past, students spent a combined 1,000 hours with various service organizations. This year, they spent three days and thousands of work hours helping the environment, as well as organizations, safely distanced.

“COVID-19 has touched every community in the nation and around the world,” said Christy Hutton, the Head of School. “On a very personal level, every student knows this, because they have felt the impact on their lives or their family or their friend’s lives. Refocusing attention on the needs of our wider community, students look beyond personal challenges, and reconnect with one another and rediscover their own capacity. They find purpose through action, which is an act of empowerment. These are the times that inspire young minds to do great things.”

Partner organizations focus on a broad range of important issues and include Santa Cruz SPCA, Second Harvest Food Bank, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve, and the Homeless Garden Project . In addition, students undertook service projects on or around campus such as removing invasive species from the Pogonip which is directly behind the Kirby campus.

“During the time of Covid, when community seems so hard to find, Kirby has given students the opportunity to come together and not only work collectively to help themselves, but to help others as well. To me, community involvement means actively working to better the places and people around you which in turn creates a fulfilling feeling that is hard to beat.” said Juliet McKinney, 11th grade student at Kirby School.

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