Benjamin Rubenstein ‘14 shared his thoughts on the second annual Field Community Service Day:
This year for community service, a group of Field School students, faculty, and parents went to Leckie Elementary School to do a variety of deeds to help this school become a more enjoyable place to learn and prosper. Since I was not able to go to last year’s service day, I was more than eager to help these students and this school. As I arrived, I had to choose between four groups: building flower boxes, benches, cabinets, or painting signs. Since I have a love for carpentry, I quickly put my name down for the group that was building benches. I wanted to be rewarded at the end of the day by sitting on the beautiful bench that I had just completed.
Once I collected all the wood needed to build, I went right into it, along with my dad and fellow Field student, Marcus Robinson. We hammered nail after nail, and made sure everything was as good as we could assemble it, because we wanted these kids to be able to sit back after a long day on the ball fields at recess and just relax. When we finished putting all the wood together, it was time for the paint job. We added a nice red paint to the wood with a rusty feel to it, which made the bench stick out.
As I looked down at the bench Marcus and I created, all I was thinking about was how this bench is going to affect the community and that there is nothing better than giving back to a school who needs more than we do. This is not the kind of experience that will go in one ear and out the other, this will be cemented in my brain and influence me to do more service jobs like this in the future. Thank you City Year!
Gabe Coleman ’14 also shared his thoughts on his experiences with Field’s Community Service Day at Leckie Elementary:
Field offers and hosts some wonderful events every year. Homecoming and Founders Day are probably at the top of most students lists. I believe that there is one more event that should be added to these lists: volunteering with City Year Washington DC. There are many reasons why I believe City Year should be included in these lists. Working with City Year combines so many types of fun. I look forward to this day every year! Working with City Year is such a blast. Not only do you get to hang out with members of the Field community (parents, faculty, students, alumni) but you get to help those in need. One of my favorite things about Field is the balance between having fun and working hard. City Year encompasses both of these attributes. Whether you are painting murals with parents of a seventh grader you have never met, or building benches with your two best friends, you’re working hard while having fun.
On top of having an awesome time and working hard, working with City Year incorporates one of the three prongs of Field’s mission statements: Generosity of Heart. As described by Assistant Head of School, David Buffum, Generosity of Heart “which speaks for itself: be kind to other people, reach out, make [Field] a comfortable place as it is a comfortable place for you.” While working with City Year, Field is helping to create a greater learning environment, reaching out to students/schools in need, and selflessly being kind to complete strangers.
Yana Mazurkevich ’14 also shared her thoughts on returning to Leckie Elementary for her second year of service:
I was thankful to be with friends last Saturday morning at Leckie Elementary School!! I loved everything about City Year last year, and was excited to hear that Field was going to do another trip this year. Last year, Field built bookshelves, painted murals, and danced with the kids at Garfield Elementary. I not only enjoyed painting murals, which was my task, but I also enjoyed seeing how hard everyone else was working. But, not only were people working hard, but having a total blast with their friends and teachers! I completely forgot that my teachers were my teachers. They were just my adult buddies wearing Field service day shirts. Seriously. It was an incredible feeling to know that.
I think City Year has and will always continue doing an amazing job with what they do. Last year I was more than impressed and inspired with the things they were doing. Painting murals? Genius! Not only was it fun to do, but beautiful as an end result. Same thing this year: I decided to paint. This time, we painted inspirational words on benches! How creative? Super creative I say! Others built benches and also picnic tables. By the end of the four hard-working hours, I saw how proud everyone felt, and so did I!
I would work with City Year five million more times. A lot of students from Field who participated at the service trip on March 23rd mentioned how they would want Field to do this kind of trip every season, once more in the fall and spring of the school year. I do not disagree with that at all. I enjoyed giving my time to others and knowing that I contributed to another community. City Year is one of my favorite events at Field, and would love to have this service trip to be a regular event at Field, especially when I graduate. It’s nice to know that a service day each year can continue to make others excited to give their time and help out.