On Thursday morning, kindergartners through fifth graders from The Meridian School were out at Meridian Park and on nearby Bagley raking, weeding, sweeping, and picking up litter. The efforts were a part of The Meridian School’s annual fall Community Service Day. At the north end of the park, fourth graders worked with an arborist from Sustainable Wallingford to measure trees, while parents worked hard at an apple press, making homemade cider. I gotta tell ya — honestly — it was the best homemade cider I’d ever had.
I spoke briefly with Ron Waldman, Meridian’s Head of School, as we watched kindergartners sweep the playground and lay down wood chips. He told me that giving kindergartners these tasks helps to shape a lifelong commitment to give back to the community. We mused how passionate they were going about cleaning up the playground.
This year, the school sent letters to nearby neighbors offering to rake or weed their gardens. “Like any school in an urban setting, we know we impact the neighborhood, with parking and traffic issues,” Waldman said. “So we wanted to extend our offer of service to our neighbors, in a gesture of goodwill, and to show that we can be good stewards of the community.”
I was tempted to ask if they’d come and rake at my house, but I resisted the urge.