Kindergarteners work with Talbot County Early Head Start (TCEHS), which serves families of children ages zero to three-years-old. During the winter months, Kindergartners create number or color concept books to assist families in introducing and reinforcing these concepts with their young children at home. In the spring, Kindergartners make cheerful decorations for the center. Kindergartners also plant a vegetable, herb and flower garden — the bounty of which is enjoyed by the staff and families at TCEHS throughout the summer.
First graders work with preschool children at St. Mark’s Preschool and Christ Church Preschool. They prepare activities, work with buddies and develop friendships.
Working in conjunction with the Midshore Riverkeepers Conservancy, the second grade spends their year focusing on sustainability and the importance of the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Second graders also get their hands dirty cleaning up litter from local wetlands as part of Project Clean Stream.
Third grade continues its relationship with the Neighborhood Service Center, conducting a blanket drive and making bagged lunches for the center twice per month. The students decorate bags, organize food, assemble meals, and make deliveries to the center. Third grade also does a twice-yearly used book drive for Department of Social Services.
The fourth grade supports the Society of St. Vincent dePaul and its clients. They pack grocery bags for clients of the center, and sort and fold donated clothing and toys that may be purchased by clients of the center. At the Center, the children “break down” cardboard boxes preparing them for the recycling bins. At school, they collect and account for large paper grocery bags so the Center will have to purchase fewer; make some sort of a craft at Christmas to be enjoyed by those who frequent the Center; collect “unwanted” Halloween candy and donate that to the Center. The pieces are packed in bags of 10 and placed in grocery bags that are picked up by clients of the center. They also make seasonal cards with greetings in both English and Spanish that are placed in grocery bags. Additionally, the fourth grade collects recycling in the school once a week.
Upper School students participate in HOHO projects by advisory. Advisories are groups of eight to ten students, with a teacher advisor. Fifth graders are in fifth-grade-only advisories, while sixth through eighth graders are mixed.
Both fifth grade advisories – Bishop and Johnson – meet with pre-school age children at Manor Discovery Center, in Easton. During a typical visit, the fifth graders plan circle time and crafts activities, as well as indoor and outdoor games to play with the children. In addition, the fifth grade makes on-going, seasonal holiday cards and writes thank-you letters to hospitalized veterans at the VA Care Center at Perry Point, MD.
Mrs. Mielke’s advisory coordinates projects with Talbot Hospice including seasonal decorating, fundraising, and landscaping.
Mrs. Lang and Mrs. Frederick’s advisories work together to assist with maintaining the grounds of the Healing Garden in Easton, a garden and park for parents who have lost children. They also partner with The Benedictine School in Ridgely, helping their students with crafts and projects, and doing some read-aloud and skits.
Mrs. Walter’s advisory visits Integrace Bayleigh Chase (formerly known as William Hill Manor.) During our stay, the students make connections with the residents through crafts, games, and song. During each visit, we also make personal rounds to residents who are not ambulatory. Students are discovering they have a lot more in common than they thought. Both generations are interested in learning about each other’s lives and finding common passions such as art and music.
Mrs. Sheets’s advisory visits The Gardens at William Hill Manor to play games with residents. During the holidays, the students plan a performance of songs and stories that are presented to the residents during their afternoon activity hour.
Ms. Amaral’s advisory works with the residents of the Dixon House Independent and Assisted Living home, visiting them often throughout the year. The students research appropriate craft projects and games, organize materials, and work collaboratively with the residents during visits to create the projects and play games.
Ms. Devine’s advisory visits the Talbot County Free Library to read stories, present shows, do craft activities with the children who come for story time, and help with clerical tasks, all under the guidance of the children’s librarian.
Mrs. Rajacich’s advisory is working with the Talbot Interfaith Shelter Each time they visit, they make a meal for the guests for dinner that night, and put one meal in their freezer for another night. They also help with other projects and maintenance around the house and yard. In the Fall, this includes raking and bagging lots of leaves. In the Spring, they hope to plant flowers and beautify their gardens.
Mr. Nittle’s advisory is helping the Friends of Spring Hill Historic Cemetery in Easton by maintaining the grounds throughout the year and cleaning up after major holidays. The students research the lives of the people buried here, in order to help to raise awareness of the importance of this cemetery as a historic resource for our community.
Mr. Vega’s advisory is working with the Activities Director at St. Mark’s Village, a retirement community for the elderly in Easton, to provide entertainment for the residents, many of whom have limited means.