Glenholme students log community service hours
Students at Glenholme School in Washington have performed 800 hours of community service since the start of this year.
Glenholme is a therapeutic boarding and day school for students ages 10-18 with social, emotional and learning differences.
A Transition Program for young adults ages 18-21 to support students in meeting the challenges of adulthood including employment, education, vocational training and learning life skills such as cooking, shopping and financial literacy is also offered.
Kindness is one of the school’s core values. To that end, community service ties into many activities.
The school and the Transition Program number 80 students, and participation in community service is entirely voluntary.
Chrissy Steward, director of community service, said 95 percent of the students take part in the program.
There are many different venues where students can get into the community and show their care.
Working with seniors is a favorite.
The younger Glenholme students visit Candlewood Valley Health & Rehabilitation Center in New Milford Wednesday evenings to assist with Bingo.
They also help with fundraisers throughout the year at the center.
On Monday afternoons, Transition students spend time at Village Crest Center for Health & Rehabilitation in New Milford, alongside the skilled care facility’s recreation department.
Students assist the residents with arts and crafts projects, visits on an outdoor patio and play games.
Recently, after playing Pokeno, the students and the residents enjoyed a special treat of S'mores.
One student learned a 99-year-old resident had never had a S'more. The student was excited to help her sample the treat.
The same student also fed a S'more to a resident who has limited mobility in his hands, making feeding himself very difficult.
In the spring and summer, Transition students volunteer twice weekly at their vegetable patch in the Judea Garden in Washington.
The garden, located at Macricostas Preserve, is the beneficiary of donations of cash and volunteerism by close to 100 individuals, schools, churches, civic organizations and businesses.
Depending upon the time of the season available produce might include broccoli, mustard greens, Swiss chard, lettuce, rhubarb, tomatoes, beans, summer squash, winter squash, eggplant, peppers, peas, carrots, cauliflower, raspberries and herbs.
Produce is available to those who need it in Washington, Warren, New Milford and Torrington.
This past year, Glenholme students grew cucumbers and tomatillos from seed.
Students also support local families in need with an annual Thanksgiving Basket food drive.
The annual endeavor has Glenholme come together to donate, sort, wrap and deliver baskets filled with all the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal.
The Northwest Connecticut Visiting Nurses Association identifies needy families in Bantam.
Transition students recently volunteered at the Simsbury MS Walk.
The annual event is a favorite of many of the students as they set up, clean up, cheer on walkers, provide water to walkers and do whatever is needed to ensure the success of the day.
They also volunteer for the Autism walk in Torrington and Glenholme’s annual 5K for autism.
Glenholme students round out the year of caring by working along with the Town of Washington to share joy with a family in need.
Students will shop and wrap gifts to be distributed through the town.
Lastly, students volunteer to help children wrap gifts at Gunn Memorial Library’s holiday shop for children.