Upon entering the Upper School as freshmen, Pace students learn of the daunting 40 hours of community service necessary for graduation. Fortunately for them, 41 years ago, the Service Learning program was started. The program has continued to grow, change, and thrive along with Pace’s development, adding two new projects this year, Emmaus House and CHRIS Kids.
With the recent loss of the popular project Hospital Art, sophomores Christina Darland, Grace Francour, and Laura Rosenbaum, along with juniors Cory Bush and Anna Leutters, are prepared to bring something new to Pace with Emmaus House. The aim of Emmaus House, according to the agency’s website, is to “diminish poverty and its broader consequences by strengthening individuals, families, and communities through education, assistance, and social action.”
As director of Service Learning, Ms. Anderson described how Pace students will be involved: “Essentially what we will be doing is sending a group of volunteers down twice a month to work alongside the leadership at Emmaus House.” When on the project, most Pace students will spend time with the kids, doing activities ranging from arts and crafts to reading time, as well as woodworking and pottery. In addition, everyone will have the opportunity to work in the administrative offices to see how Emmaus House is run. Cory cannot wait for Emmaus House to get started, saying, “I’m really looking forward to seeing the kids smile and getting to know them and their personalities.”
The CHRIS Kids community, as Ms. Anderson explained it, “is actually an organization designed to support young adolescents through young adults who have become homeless for some reason or another.” Juniors Katie Brewster, Jessica Cooper, Madison Hoff, Sarah Jacobson, and Katie Williamson; and senior Kate Cunningham are the CHRIS Kids service leaders. Katie described the CHRIS Kids project mission statement as, “to mentor underprivileged kids through recreational activities.” She said that although the project is still working on getting off the ground, they plan on taking kids who are around middle school age on outings to places like the movies, the zoo, bowling, and even Pace football and basketball games.
Ms. Anderson is pleased with the evolution of the service learning program and the array of projects offered at Pace. She said, “I wouldn’t like it if they were all the same all the time… I think the fact that we’ve added two new ones is great.”
By Julia Beck, Staff Writer ’15
Photo: Alex Pare