Service Learning Day

Since 2009, Boys’ Latin has held an all day, all school service event -- Service Learning Day.  The whole day is set aside for all  students, grades K-12, to work together on service projects with a single theme.  Each year, the event is so well-received by the students, faculty/staff, parents who volunteer, and the community that it has become an annual program

2012 From Hunger to Health

From tilling the soil for planting, observing bees and learning about pollination to writing letters to our politicians, coming up with initiatives to end hunger in Baltimore city, exploring hunger through literature and creating youth learning materials for SNAP, the boys explored the issues of hunger from all angles today.  By 9:30am, we loaded 300 lunches into a van bound for the Franciscan Center who served them that day.  By 11:40, we loaded another 240 lunches into some parents' cars (thank you parents!) bound for Manna House and My Sister's Place.  Throughout the morning, a rotating delivery service (thanks to Earl Smith, husband of Robin Smith) took over 80 casseroles plus extra hot dogs to Our Daily Bread.  In addition, 300 more lunches were packed to be served Monday at Paul's Place (thanks Robin Smith for delivery).

As a healthy and interesting learning opportunity, the boys even got first-hand experience with eating lunches prepared for soup kitchens!  Many parent volunteers helped to serve our community 800 lunches, including some special Passover lunches.

The lessons from today will hopefully carry forward for the boys and instill a greater understanding of issues in the community and world around us.  Two activities for upper school boys will extend beyond service learning day.  One group of boys worked with Sally Brackins to brainstorm a possible proposal to submit to the Urbanite for the Hunger Initiative contest, and the project will continue with the boys who are interested.  The government representatives from SNAP, today’s version of food stamps, were so pleased with the materials a group of upper school boys designed in the digital lab with Sarah Woods that SNAP plans to use the materials with their clients going forward and share these with the regional offices.

Another extension of the day will be using the meal plans developed by some of the middle and upper school boys to cook dinner and take it to Sarah’s Hope to serve.   The Boys’ Latin community will be serving Sunday dinner to the residents of this shelter for women and children on the following dates:  May 13, May 27, and June 10.  If you are interested in participating, contact Susan Brown ( 

Thanks to all the parents, faculty, staff and friends for making the boys’ experience so meaningful.  In addition to the slides shown here, more photos are posted on SmugMug.

Special thanks to Director of Service Learning, Susan Brown and the following faculty members who served on the Service Learning Day Committee to plan and execute Friday's activities:

Susan Brown, leader Marcia Flaherty Stephanie McKew Barb Starkey
Cindy Alderman Terri Floccare Adam Osborn Jennifer Streeter
Kate Berger Shara Hine Lauren Quevillon Julia Williams
Sally Brackins Sean Kriebel Robin Read Sarah Woods
Lauren DeVries Janet Maisel Marie Scheurich  
Trish Fallon Mac McDonald Robin Smith  


2011 Education - Global and Local
For our third annual Service Learning Day on Friday, April 15, BL students, faculty and staff came together as one school to give back to our larger local and global community.   This year, our efforts went to aid schools in Baltimore City and Sierra Leone.  Together, we assembled math flash cards, reading tools and classroom supplies. It is a fun day for all, and, more importantly, it ties back to the character values BL holds dear – courage, integrity and compassion. Boys gain a first-hand sense that service to others enriches the self.  To kick off the day, Minnesota Vikings’ Madieu Williams spoke to whole school about his experiences in Sierra Leone and the work that he is doing with his foundation to improve medical, dental and educational conditions there. Over the summer 2011, four BL teachers (Donna Avila, Stephanie McKew, Greg Schnitzlein and Julia Williams) traveled with the Healing Hands and Madieu Williams Foundations to Sierra Leone. Our teachers delivered teaching tools and supplies that were assembled during Service Learning Day to the local school and train local teachers.  During Service Learning Day, there were also some fun activities, each with a lesson. A relay race to carry water to your “BL Family” gave the boys an opportunity to reflect on the journey Sierra Leone children make every day to carry water to their school or homes. The “BL Families” were groups of students with a mix of all ages. It was also a great way to see big boys helping younger boys and vice versa. Fun was had by all.

2010 Environmental Impact
Service Learning Day on April 16, 2010 went beyond the BL campus to improve the local environment. Once again students in grades K-12 met as a group to participate in this "environmental" themed day of service. The boys in grades K-3 remained on campus to build 20 bird and 21 bat houses for use at the Carrie Murray Nature Center and create mini compost columns for use in their own homes. Students in grades 4-12 boarded busses to work at various sites around the greater Baltimore area. By the time they returned to campus, they had planted 160 trees in Baltimore City parks, dug 25 post holes for a new deer fence at Cylburn Arboretum, removed 20 bags of garbage and many loads of branches and leaves from the Baltimore Harbor and the Ft. McHenry Conservation area, pulled 20 buckets of weeds at Cromwell Valley Park, prepared 20 plant boxes for use with city school children at Great Kids Farm, rebuilt 50 feet of trail at Carrie Murray Nature Center, collected 10 bags of trash around Lake Roland, and removed invasive vines from about 100 trees near Lake Avenue. The students met with their buddies from the other divisions to eat lunch, share stories about their morning activities, and write letters to state and federal legislators explaining what they had done and why the environment is important to all of us.

2009 Helping the Homeless
Carrying finished kits to the St. Vincent DePaul truck.BL's first Service Learning Day on April 17, 2009 was focused on the issues of homelessness. On a bright and beautiful day, the students at Boys’ Latin heard from Donald Whitehead, who shared his journey from homelessness to his current position as Assistant Director of Beans and Bread Center in Baltimore. Mr. Whitehead made a memorable visual impression as he shed the clothes from his homeless days to reveal his business suit, which is what he wears today. Later that morning, the students broke into small groups by grade to participate in activities designed to explore the issues associated with homelessness and hunger. Next, the students were grouped with their “service buddies” – one from each lower, middle and upper school division — to create lunches or "welcome" kits for the various branches of the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Baltimore. In a short wrap up to the day, all the students gathered on the BL field with the kits and lunches before they loaded the kits into the truck for transportation to the various centers sponsored by St. Vincent DePaul. The students enjoyed making a difference in their community and working with boys from the other divisions!



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Independent Day School for Boys Grades K-12

822 West Lake Avenue, Baltimore MD 21210  |   ph: 410.377.5192  |   f: 410.377.4312
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