How long have you orchestrated Indian Mountain’s Community Service program?

How long have you orchestrated Indian Mountain’s Community Service program?
When hired at IMS in 2000, our school motto was (and still is), “Life Through Service,” but there were few opportunities for students to actively live out this motto. In that same year, with another teacher, I decided to launch an official IMS Community Service program. The program now includes a variety of events each year as well as a Community Service club that meets weekly.

What does our motto, “Life Through Service” mean to you, both personally and as someone that oversees our service program?
When I hear the words, “Life Through Service,” as a parent and educator, I think about leading by example. I have always had compassion and empathy for others and have tried to share this with my own children (Keri ‘03, Kelsey ‘06, and Erika ‘16) and the students I have taught. It is our hope that the service opportunities that we provide at IMS will allow students to think beyond themselves, so that they may engage with ways to help both our local and global communities.

Within the Community Service program, is there a particular experience or memory that stands out to you?
It would be really hard to pick just one memory or one experience but I have a few.
  • The look on an elderly person’s face when one of our students greets them in their room at the nursing home and hands them a spring card that they have made.
  • The student who took it upon herself to collect funds for her Grade Level Team for the CROP Hunger Walk.
  • Watching our students in their pink socks during Pink Week in support of The Jane Lloyd Fund, which helps those dealing with cancer.
  • Watching a group of students shop for Hoops For Food to provide food for our local food pantry.
  • Collecting and delivering gifts for our Adopt A Family program at Christmas. Watching students and teachers perform during our annual concert, “By Kids For Kids.”
What do you hope each student gains from their service experience at IMS?
I would like to see our students gain knowledge and understanding for what others may be dealing with or going through. It’s important for our students to learn that serving others can open doors for someone else. Whether that means cleaning up a common space, participating in a community service event, or simply doing the “little things,” it is a frame of mind that we hope to cultivate. It goes back to our motto, “Life Through Service” but also our core values of Honesty, Compassion, and Respect.

Out of all the events that you help organize and orchestrate, do you have a favorite?
Although we try new things each year, there is a core group of annual programs. I think the one that brings me the most satisfaction is “By Kids For Kids.” This concert brings together our students, faculty, and parents as an audience to truly impact the life of another child. Our funds help to send one child to “The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.” The camp serves those who are suffering from life threatening diseases and allows them to enjoy life for one week as a carefree child. I have had the pleasure of visiting the first camp that Paul Newman built in Ashford, CT and was able to witness the children that this event directly impacts. It is nights like BKFK that bring many of us to tears and fill our hearts with joy.