Service Learning

"Recent studies show that children who participate in service learning are more likely to be politically and socially engaged citizens and leaders within their communities. As we prepare students for a globally-interconnected world, these are exactly our aspirations for children at Moses Brown." — Matt Glendinning
The commitment to others, central to the tenets of Quakerism and to the mission of Moses Brown, finds explicit expression in MB’s service learning program. Moses Brown School incorporates service learning opportunities for all students with the goal of developing future leaders who are thoughtful, informed, and active in their communities. At times, students, classes, or advisor groups will identify issues and plan programs that address specific interests. Past projects include organizing a used book drive for an inner city school, collecting hats and mittens for a nearby neighborhood drop-in center, making gifts for displaced teenagers during the holiday season, and sending blankets to earthquake victims.

Service learning truly begins in our lower school, where each class regularly engages in year-long partnerships to support both local and global needs. Lower school students also collect Thanksgiving and holiday food for Camp Street Ministries as well as winter coats, gloves, scarves, and sneakers for local families in need. The third grade also runs an annual UNICEF collection, a project that focuses on fundraising and on the educational moment. Social awareness and advocacy are an important part of the middle school program. Throughout these endeavors — as tutors, mentors, or community volunteers, students learn self-reliance, the value of active community participation, and respect for the experiences of others. In upper school, there is a 40-hour community service requirement for graduation. Students and faculty take an annual trip to the Dominican Republic in the spring to deliver medical supplies to men, women, and children in sugarcane communities without access to proper medical care. An intensive local service experience in the spring focuses on hunger and homelessness in Rhode Island and connects small groups of students with local organizations such as McAuley House, Mary House at St. Patrick’s Church, House of Hope, and the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless. The Community Outreach Committee meets weekly to plan service and fundraising work, while also volunteering every month at Camp Street Food Pantry and Amos House. The upper school — students, faculty, and administration — also devotes two entire days to offering service to our local community in a variety of projects, working closely with organizations such as Save the Bay, Blackstone Conservancy, Neutaconkanut Hill, Coggeshall Farm, Crossroads RI, Sojourner House, and Peace and Plenty Park.
The Religious Society of Friends has an historic commitment to social justice ministry and action. The 1947 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia and the Friends Service Council in London for relief services during the world wars. True to our mission as a Quaker school, service learning is embedded in the fabric of a Moses Brown education.