New Site for Nobles Service Enhances the Afternoon Program Options

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The Greenwood Church in Dorchester’s lively after school program has become a welcome addition to our service afternoons. Some Nobles students use their newly acquired Spanish language skills to interact with many children, and as you can see from these photos, are truly connecting with them. Also pictured is Enrique Alcayaga from Guatemala, who has been aiding the linguistic interchanges. Enrique and Elizabeth Benjamin (Spanish teacher) will be married this weekend on the Nobles campus. Conversing with her new “little buddy” is a smiling Esther Choi.

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Service Camp Begins Monday!

How do younger students learn about the kinds of service they can do successfully, and get some experience so that when they call their local nonprofit agency they can be eagerly accepted as volunteers? Nobles Service Camp. Each summer the Community Service Department gathers a vanful of kids from entering 7th graders to rising 10th graders for a week of local travel, visits, and projects that acquaint the youngsters with area charities and nonprofits. This year, Linda Hurley, Sandi MacQuinn and guest counselor Kelsey Grousbeck have planned a set of projects for Hearth, Inc. an organization that seeks to end homelessness among the elderly. At one of the organization’s sites, we are installing small shelving units by each apartment doorway. At another, we are shooting photos of the surrounding neighborhood and putting them in large frames for the dining room. For Home for Little Wanderers, campers are creating art from torn paper and acrylics, and visits to Cradles to Crayons and Friends of Greyhounds round out the experience. Watch here all next week for pictures, student comments, and reflections about the week of service we are experiencing, hosted by Kelsey.  See you next week!

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The Pull to Do Something

In light of the recent horrific events in Boston, many ideas and action plans are circulating all over our city. A traumatic, violent attack makes all of us yearn to “do something” in response; we feel shaken and saddened. Students, especially, often wonder what they can do to help after overwhelming incidents, and the need for healing ourselves as well, is all too real.
 
The Community Service Department (with the input of students) has been discussing an appropriate Nobles response to the tragic events at the Boston Marathon. Our hope is to provide a way for our community to participate together in a symbolic show of support for the victims of the bombing. We are currently collaborating on an idea to do an on-campus “Walk the Last Mile Together” event to “finish” the marathon for those who could not. We’ll design a mile loop on campus and walk past the Castle together. There will be a voluntary fundraising component to the event, and all proceeds will benefit the victims and their families.

If you are a member of the Nobles community and would like to offer ideas, or help us with logistics, please contact Linda Hurley or Sandi MacQuinn. If you have thoughts that might help us plan this safely we would love to hear from you. More will be forthcoming about the exact date and any other details.

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Warm Friendships in the “Warming Room” at the Rink

The third season of sled hockey wrapped up on Sunday March 3rd at Bliss Omni Rink.
Following practice and a spirited scrimmage the group met in the warming room to thank Mason Pulde (N’13) for introducing the UNH Northeast Passage Youth Development Sled Hockey program to Nobles. Looking forward to next year!

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“The Afterglow of Community Service Lasts a Long Time”

"Making lunch is awesome!"

“Making lunch is awesome!”

Many of us missed the “real time” inauguration of President Obama yesterday on Martin Luther King Holiday. (Service Director Linda Hurley was in attendance!)  But no one around me seemed to feel we were not involved in it. After all, Nobles families and students were 200 strong actually DOING the service Dr. King set before America as a lodestar experience. Chris Reynolds, graduate, made a Friday trip to Polartec in Lawrence MA to pick up the donation of 500 yards of warm fleece he had requested to work with on the Day of Service. “I always feel good after a day like this, he remarked. “The afterglow of community service lasts a long time.”

“This has become such a highlight for me” said Allison Matlack.  “I always enjoy the chance to work with Nobles students and their parents and appreciate all that you do behind the scenes to make it so easy for me to do the fun part – the actual volunteering!!” The Morrison Athletic Center was loaded with contents of a huge white storage unit that had been collecting toys, clothing, and books for two weeks prior to the all day service event for our partners “Cradles to Crayons.” Lead by Cindy Trull, families, and winter coaches and athletic teams cleaned and

MLK Day at Senior Living at Bellingham Hill

MLK Day at Senior Living at Bellingham Hill

sorted all the items for quality before packing them back up carefully to get to the warehouse for distribution. “Every single one of them, and all of the coaches as well, threw themselves into the work with great enthusiasm and terrific attitudes.  Watching the wrestlers cleaning off the toys, the hockey players sprawled on the floor tying knots in the blankets and the girls’ basketball players singing, chatting and displaying great warmth and cheer was truly heartwarming” Trull remarked.

At Allston-Brighton Community Supper, Nobles volunteers made a roasted chicken dinner for eighty homeless people, and enjoyed our day chatting as we chopped vegetables and fruit. Jenny Carlson’s group went to the Epiphany School where scrubbing and cleaning elicited this remark from Lorena Lopera, “I walked into the school this morning after being away for 10 days and I can say that there is noticeable difference. The school looks WONDERFUL!” At Senior Living at Bellingham Hill, Cindy Jaczko and volunteers made crafts, played bingo, and served wonderful treats to the elderly residents. Ross Blacker, an administrator there said “Nobles’ Day of Caring could not have gone any better, it truly exceeded our expectations and our tenants will be talking about all the great stuff they did for months.  This is truly a credit not only to the community service aspect of the school’s mission but the energy, enthusiasm, generosity and creativity of the group.  I literally didn’t see anyone checking their phone or appearing to be bored, all of the adults and children were 110 percent engaged for the duration of the day, something that we are so very appreciative of.”

Aimee Southworth organized a painting crew aided by children from the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester. The bright colors the children chose will warm their walls in the winter months to come. Mary Keally reprised a yearly visit with Nobles folks to the Quincy Crisis Center where organizing the basement, sorting food, and delivering groceries to shut-ins taught youngsters how much they can be of use to those who are ill and cannot leave their homes. Father Bill’s Shelter again hosted Thomas Forteith and volunteers who made and served lunch for the homeless. And Kelsey Grousbeck presided over the making of no-sew fleece blankets for the Long Island Shelter in the Boston harbor, and torn paper art to decorate the therapy room walls of the Home for Little Wanderers. Vidya Kagan took her group to Hearth, Inc. and prepared a spaghetti lunch for the formerly homeless residents at their new apartment complex. All involved loved coming down to the bright new dining area where Nobles people shared lunch and the talk of the day, which was often about the inauguration on television. President Obama spoke about the American people and the impetus to reach out to each other. It felt good to be doing just that on a day so historic. The MLK Day of Service is a wonderful tradition and one we plan to continue for years to come.

Sandi MacQuinn, Director of Community Service

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Teddy Bear Club Cheers Children in the Hospital

The following note just came in the mail from Children’s Hospital:
Dear Students of Noble and Greenough School,
Thank you so much for your wonderful and thoughtful donation of 300 Teddy bears! Every child who received a bear on Christmas eve was absolutely delighted! The bears brought smiles and comfort to all the children. The Child Life Services Department of Children’s Hospital Boston would like to send you a special thank you for your recent contribution that will help male a child’s stay with us brighter. We appreciate your support.
Warm wishes fro a happy and healthy 2013.
The Child Life Department

Congratulations to Kurt Gulezian (Class of 2014 and Haley Edgerley (Class of 2015) and all the members of the Teddy Bear Club. Who would have suspected this great event could be sponsored by one gigantic bake sale?

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Happy Holidays From Nobles Families to Agencies in Boston

IMG_0490Holiday songs brighten the season at the Pine Street Inn.

What do 300 Teddy Bears, 60 blankets, 200 coats, 6 boxes of supplies, 75 snowflake gifts, 60 ceramic plates, 10 songs, 65 scarves, and lots of holiday cookies have in common?  They all represent gestures made by the Nobles Community in the last few weeks of 2012. The Teddy Bear Club held a fundraiser and purchased and delivered 300 bears on Friday to Boston Children’s Hospital for young patients. The 60 blankets were made at school and delivered to New York City for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The 200 coats were collected by the football team and community service board and delivered to Cradles to Crayons and St. Francis Shelter for those in need of warmth. The supply boxes were inspired by the Young Republicans and sent to the  men and women serving and stationed in the Armed Forces in Afghanistan. The 75 snowflakes represent Christmas wishes for children served by the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester and the Department of Children and Families. The songs were sung by the Nobleonians at a Company Christmas at the Pops Concert for underserved kids. The plates were made in Afternoon Program Ceramics, packed with treats and delivered to Hearth, Inc. an organization dedicated to ending senior homelessness in Massachusetts. The scarves and cookies were made with homeless women at the Pine Street Inn at a Christmas sing-a-long held at the Inn last Saturday. Meanwhile, even after the winter break began, Nobles faculty and students visited the Home for Little Wanderers Toy Room at Legacy Place to wrap the gifts for thousands of children in the Boston area.  Thank you to the many student groups that rallied the community around the needs of others during the holiday season. Thanks to all for sharing their strengths. Wishing you a season shared with family and friends and a Happy, Healthy 2013!  Linda Hurley and Sandi MacQuinnIMG_0329iPhone Image F7DEA2

Afternoon Program Art and Service students make ceramic plates for residents of Hearth, Inc. 

 

 

 

Children loved their toys donated by Nobles families.

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New Initiatives Energize Season of Thanksgiving

In the spirit of “always getting better” that Nobles espouses for all school programs, two new service initiatives stand out. You might have already noted the Graduates Council collaboration with “Meals of Hope,” which packaged ten thousand meals on the Milton/Nobles weekend. It was so great to see an intergenerational event like this when grads are already on campus to support their favorite Dawg team. We loved seeing familiar faces of current students, alums (and their cute kids!) working side by side for the public good.

Another recent inaugural event began a new tradition for the Squash team. In concert with “Squashbusters” three Nobles players served at the Boston Food Bank in the morning of Saturday November 17, and then hit the courts to play a round robin contest together with 6 other independent schools from the Boston area. Representing Nobles were Sarah Riley ’13, Ryan Smith ’14, and Stephen Monrad ’15. The group can lay claim to having prepared 6000 pounds of food for shipment to local families.
These initiatives went so well both groups are already talking about making them annual events. Congratulations to both groups for adding major service projects to their already packed schedules. Time is a treasured commodity. The time given to those who need you is one of the reasons we are indeed “getting better all the time.”

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First response to Hurricane Sandy….One of Many to Come

 

Between classes, after school when it snowed, during study halls and lunches, and crowded around tables during Friday’s X block, students cut fleece and braided edges to turn donated fabric into warm blankets to send to New York and New Jersey. This early shipment is being driven to Hurrican ravaged coastal towns by a friend of the Muggia family. More efforts will emerge as students and the Community Service Dept. collaborate on how best to help.

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Hurricane Sandy Relief Energizes Nobles

It’s hard not to feel helpless watching those floods engulf our neighbors and friends on the east coast–harder still to know what to do. Fortunately, Nobles students (thanks Nick Samel) and parent friends (thanks Kennie Grogan) are action oriented and urgent about responding. Graduate Chris Reynolds is procuring bolts of fleece from Polartec. And in the next few days, we are having a BLANKET MAKING MARATHON to send this Friday afternoon with a friend of student Caroline Muggia’s who is going to New York with more supplies. We hope to make a huge pile of fleece blankets–some to go now, some to give to graduate Misha Kaufman on November 24 when he comes to pick them up and return to New York. What can you do? Drop off a pair of sharp scissors, buy some hand warmers or gloves and leave them at the front desk, or donate a small LED flashlight to go along with the blankets. We do not have to merely feel sad for our countrymen. We can help!

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