One way Flintridge Prep nurtures a compassionate community is by introducing our students to community service beginning in middle school with the semi-annual Middle School Community Service Day.
At service day, the 7th grade students work on projects around campus including some tried-and-true staples like gardening with Ms. Basilio, a clean-up hike in La Cañada, and supply kit creation for Families Forward, an organization that provides free education and social services to low-income families with children from birth to five years old. This year they made 60 baby kits, 84 hygiene kits, 167 school supply kits, and 243 snack kits! The students also flexed their creativity, creating Halloween costumes to donate to Families Forward as well as writing and translating children's books into Chichewa to send to children in Malawi.
Meanwhile, 8th grade students volunteered at local nonprofits, stocked the food pantry at Friends In Deed, read to and played games with seniors with Alzheimer's at Community Assistance Program for Seniors (CAPS), helped run a dance class for people with Parkinson’s at Lineage Performing Arts Center and more.
Abrielle Kong '28 volunteered with Families Forward assisting teachers in the classroom. After her experience she wants to focus her Community Impact Project on early childhood education, consistent with the goal of the service day program as an introduction to service opportunities.
Ida Puliwa, founder of the Othakarhaka Foundation, which provides life changing programs for vulnerable and marginalized people in Malawi visited campus recently to participate in a panel for our 8th grade students.
Over the past several years, Ms. Thomas, who manages the important 8th grade capstone Community Impact Projects (CIPs), has formed a long-standing partnership with Puliwa and the foundation. In the panel, a group of 12th grade students who are passionate about service talked with Pulliwa about the many ways the Othakarhaka Foundation makes an impact on the community in Malawi and discussed their own suggestions for ways Flintridge Prep students can partner with the foundation in the future.
"It was really a beautiful thing to see students here come together, collaborate, and talk about how we can build these bridges with international organizations,” shares Kayla E. Lee '24, a panelist whose previous experience with the foundation includes leading a cultural exchange letter-writing program between Flintridge Prep students and youth in Malawi.