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Paideia Community Gathers for its First ‘Great Giveback’

Students work together to beautify the campus on the day before Thanksgiving Break. Photo Courtesy of Grace Garrett.

The day before Thanksgiving break is usually defined by an advisory feast and the  talent show, but this year Director of Service Learning Natalie Rogovin and Sustainability Coordinator Korri Ellis introduced a new tradition to Paideia: The Great Giveback.

The Great Giveback was a day of service for everyone in the high school to participate in. It was a day to thank to everyone who cares for the campus regularly, and a day to promote campus cleanliness. Tasks ranged from raking leaves, service at the farm and even making gift bags for the maintenance crew that help around the school every day. 

“The big idea around this day is the community being together in space and having advisories accomplish something together, and this idea was born from those goals,” Ellis states. 

As Head of School Tom Taylor said at The Great Giveback kick-off, this campus doesn’t belong to any one person at this school. Ellis agrees, “The hope is that this is something that allows people to notice the price in place and ownership.”

The Great Giveback came about from a desire to maintain the campus’ beauty and shift students’ views about taking care of the campus. “It will represent a cultural shift …I think that we need people to make a behavioral shift, but to do that we need to make a cultural shift because we can announce at every [morning] meeting ‘pick up after yourself, pick up after yourself.’ First of all, it doesn’t work and second of all if that’s the solution it means you have to do it forever because there are always new kids coming in,” states Rogovin.“Both of us are very conscious about how we as Paideia go out into the world, and we want to go out into the world as helpers and doers and changemakers, but sometimes that change has to start at home, and it’s okay to do this as a community for our community,” she continues.

Rogovin and Ellis both hope to establish The Great Giveback as a Paideia Tradition. “I think it allows us to capitalize on people’s energy and excitement and willingness to keep the ball rolling,” Rogovin says.

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Lauren Dixon
Lauren Dixon, Staff Writer

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