Engage: Service Local and Global, a new student elective, aims to train students to be active community leaders. Led by Carol DiFalco and Julie Swanbeck, the elective allows students to engage directly in service activities, plan and promote activities for Falmouth Academy, and learn about human rights.
Falmouth Academy has a rich history of service. They collect canned goods for the Falmouth Service Center, perform at Atria Woodbriar Senior Living, participate in the bike ride for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, support the Wounded Warrior Project, build bookshelves for Habitat for Humanity, and donate to many worthy causes. Often these projects have come to fruition as part of Student Council, the National Honor Society, or a club, but they also result from direct student initiatives.
Students in the Engage elective hope to promote community service for all FA students. According to Carol DiFalco, the elective will “maintain and support established Falmouth Academy community-wide service events such as the Hat and Mitten Tree and the holiday canned food drive; educate and empower a group of students to be liaisons between agencies of service and the student body; and further educate students about human rights. Ideally, active involvement in service will become normative across the whole student body and not just the work of particular groups.” Mrs. Swanbeck adds that, “over the course of the year, each FA student can aim to be part of a leadership team for one activity, give their time on two occasions, and contribute money or goods three times. Our goal is to make engaging in community service easy and fun, and enable everyone to participate in a way they feel comfortable.”
Last week students worked with Neighborhood Falmouth to help a nonagenarian East Falmouth couple prepare for winter by moving patio furniture and washing screens. After completing these tasks, students were invited in for cider, cookies, and conversation, an unexpected and much appreciated opportunity for further interaction with these remarkable “neighbors.” This week students met with a volunteer from the League of Women Voters to prepare for an upcoming initiative to encourage students to register to vote. Other projects this fall include offering a technology workshop at the Falmouth Senior Center on how to use smart phones and tablets to connect with family and working on a Habitat for Humanity build site in Marston Mills. Students will also represent Falmouth Academy at the Barnstable County Human Rights Academy, where local middle and high school students work with area nonprofits to ascertain human rights impacts on Cape Cod and plan projects that culminate in the spring.
2018-19 Engage Participants (photo above)
(Top row, L-R) Hannah Brazil ’22, Izzy Santamauro ’20, Saniya Rajagopal ’21, Shelby Eldredge ’21, (Bottom row, L-R) Kyra Ramsey ’22, Tasha Sadufsky ’22, and Silas Van Horn ’23