From April 9 – 13, St. Anne's-Belfield School celebrated Community Service Week with Learning Village students helping out at Bellair Farm and the entire freshman class traveling to Martin, Ky. for the School's annual Doug's Trip.
For the fifth consecutive year, Grades K – 8 students each spent a half day at Bellair Farm in southern Albemarle County paired with a current or past Chapel Buddy. Students mulched fields, worked in the seedling greenhouse, and engaged in small projects under the direction of the farm manager.
"One of the most powerful things about St. Anne's-Belfield is our commitment to creating global citizens and stewards," said Shannon Montague, head of the Learning Village. "Uniting our older Learning Village students with our younger ones, we dedicate an entire week to ensure our students live our core purpose."
At the same time, the freshman class spent the week in Martin, KY for the tenth annual Doug's Trip. Working with the Christian Appalachia Project (CAP), students spent the week engaged in construction projects from the "Grow Appalachia" community garden, in which they improved soil in the high tunnel greenhouse, designed and built tables and a community lending library, and undertook various gardening projects, to working on Camp Shawnee improving facilities for the Appalachian children who might not otherwise be able to attend a summer camp, to upgrading handicapped access to private residences. Organized by Dr. Bob Troy, students prepared for their work by attending a skills camp to learn basic hand tools and undertaking fundraising to support their travel.
"Doug's Trip is an incredible School tradition," said Peter Quagliaroli, head of the Upper School. "Not only does the freshman class come together to work cooperatively in the service of others, but students are able to experience another culture, travel to another region of the country, and reflect in real time on what they are experiencing and how they have grown. Such a purposeful approach to community service is truly reflective of the School's core values of integrity, curiosity, diversity, creativity, agency, and impact."
Begun in 2009, Doug's Trip was a gift from the Class of 2008, named in memory of their classmate Douglas Robert Wardle who passed away unexpectedly while on a service trip in Nicaragua in August of 2007. That first year the ninth grade traveled to Pass Christian, Mississippi to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Over the years, School students have returned to the Mississippi Gulf Coast as well as traveled to the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky.