Old South Church and our long-time neighbor, The Muriel S. Snowden International School, are developing a partnership that will enrich the lives of both institutions by aligning our commitments to community service and social justice. As a component of Old South Church’s 350th Anniversary Celebration, we will structure a range of volunteer opportunities to provide additional support to Snowden’s students, both during their school years and following high school graduation.
Our first opportunity to pitch in is ordering school supplies to donate to Snowden for the 2019-2020 school year. Click here for a list of needed items.
Snowden International School is a Boston public school with a rigorous academic curriculum and a focus on global studies. Students are required to complete, among other subjects, 4 years of math, English, and a foreign language, studies in International Relations, and 25 hours of community service per year, prior to graduation.
As in most high schools, Snowden’s students have dreams and ambitions for their futures. However, achieving those aspirations is often challenged by social pressures, hardships outside of the classroom, or insufficient one-on-one support. By offering ongoing coaching, we aim to help guide Snowden’s youth, encouraging them to connect specific activities to their long-term goals. By linking with Snowden’s staff, we will reinforce the school’s efforts for academic success and empowerment. By providing a listening ear and a kind word, Old South Church hopes to prepare students to make more informed decisions about their potential careers.
Supporting these students and the School through personal engagement is a clear opportunity for Old South Church members to provide service during our Jubilee year of reflection. In turn, Snowden International School has offered to run workshops for Old South members on topics such as Restorative Justice. A joint conversation between the church’s “(G)RACE Talks” committee and the school’s anti-racism team is an example of how the Partnership can align. We envision mutually beneficial and gratifying results from this partnership.
Eugene Roundtree, the Headmaster of the Snowden International School, has identified the following opportunities for providing service to the school and student population:
Mentors are paired with students based on interests. Mentors provide an ongoing commitment to students, supporting their personal, academic, and professional development through weekly conversations and monthly in-person meetings over coffee or lunch or attending a sporting event. The school sponsors events and activities throughout the school year to enhance the mentor/student relationship. Mentor training is provided by the school, in partnership with the Mass Mentoring Partnership, VolunteerMatch and LinkedIn for Good.
After-School Club Volunteers share their hobbies and passions by leading informal after- school clubs that help students satisfy their curiosity and widen their awareness about topics that may not be addressed academically, such as photography, cooking, computers, music appreciation, and so forth.
Saturday School Volunteers monitor the classroom and structure an activity for students who have exhibited tardiness or missed classes. Students engage in academic work and school improvement projects. This is a monthly Saturday morning activity and would give volunteers opportunities to tutor, lead cleaning and repair projects, or other activities.
Hall Monitors and Greeters are much like Old South ushers, being “welcoming and watchful” of daily activities and supporting Snowden’s behavioral expectations its students. Often times having adults positioned near doors or in hallways can help maintain the school’s climate. This responsibility can be shared among a group of volunteers who are available during school hours.
Food Prep volunteers are needed for periodic Snowden School events that offer food for guests and attendees. Snowden has limited resources to prepare and serve food, so support around cooking or donating food would be helpful. This service is offered based on events scheduled with advance notice.
A Handy-person addresses multiple small-scale chores at Snowden School that can be completed by someone skilled with tools. This fix-it position is “as-needed,” with no specific schedule.
With any questions, please contact Ralph Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org.