Providence Day School 9th-graders took part in their third “Be the Change” day April 12.
During the day, which focused on the effects of poverty on food and the environment in the community, the students visited Sow Much Good, a nonprofit that sells fresh fruits and vegetables directly to underserved neighborhoods.
At the organization’s five acre farm in Charlotte, the 9th-graders worked the fields and planted 75 percent of Sow Much Good’s spring crops.
“Additionally, we helped with other tasks such as taking care of chickens, moving compost, weeding and planting pollinator plants to attract bees and other insects that will help the vegetables grow,” said Courtney Inscoe, math teacher and freshman class dean. “When we left, the group told us that we saved them several weeks-worth of work in one day.”
“Be the Change” is a yearlong service-learning program in which the freshman class takes an up-close and in-depth look at poverty in Mecklenburg County and obtain hands-on experience with different area organizations.
The intent of the program is not to “fix” the poverty problem, but to educate participants about the community’s needs, various ways in which they can become involved and to mold good community citizens.
The program involved three service days over the school year. The first, held Nov. 18, included a meeting with community leaders working to address poverty, a poverty simulation on campus (in which they had to navigate the challenges of living in poverty) and off-campus field trips to visit and perform service work at various nonprofits around Charlotte.
Feb. 21's service day began with a screening of “Inocente,” a 2012 Academy Award-winning short documentary film about a homeless and undocumented teenager who refuses to give up on her dream of being an artist.
The 9th-graders next went off campus to perform service work at various organizations around Charlotte.
Upon returning to campus from Sow Much Good April 12, the students brainstormed ways to transform parts of the PDS campus into an "edible community" to grow food to give back to the Charlotte community.
Part of PDS's mission is to instill in its students a sense of social responsibility. The goal is to encourage students to engage in activities that teach leadership, principles of service to the community and personal responsibility.
PDS helps students develop character dispositions such as empathy, patience, integrity, humility, open-mindedness, confidence and courage, so they can understand and act on local and global issues.
Learn more about Social Responsibility at PDS.
Third Service Day Helps Freshmen to "Be the Change"