By Maya Scully, IV Form
Service Learning Saturday Classes at the Chestnut Hill Farm
For the future of this Saturday class, we hope to have more students sign up and continue to help Chestnut Hill Farm. This is such a great class that offers the opportunity to not only benefit ourselves, but also contribute something to our communities. This is a core value of the School and also a main part in contributing to a global society. We hope that students will step out of their comfort zones and try something new through this Saturday class. All of us have had such a great experience this fall because we got to spend time outdoors working and contributing to something collective and impactful. As the future generation of this world, students will important learn skills that are different from the ones learned in school. These skills carry into life long after high school and college. They teach us to have the right mindset and education, which will allow us to contribute to our society and make the world better. We assure you that you will not regret signing up for this Saturday class, so step out of your comfort zone and take this opportunity to better yourself and the community!
“I loved working at CHF for this fall’s Saturday class. CHF is a very unique and different class because it’s not only beneficial to students, but it’s also an opportunity that allows students to give back to their communities. As students, we are constantly wrapped up in our own problems, trying to balance grades, sports, music, and more. We often interact with the same people from day to day; this sometimes even makes us forget that there’s a whole world outside of school. Going to the farm gave us the opportunity to forget our own problems and routinely serve the community. Although it seems like a lot of work, being able to physically see our own work progress motivated us and made the hours pass by very quickly. Additionally, knowing that our work resulted in a share of vegetables that we could donate to a local charity to provide fresh and healthy food was another motivating factor. Furthermore, Dez and the other workers were always so appreciative and happy because more volunteers enabled them to complete their work faster and more efficiently. Seeing them happy meant a lot and helped us realize that we contributed to something bigger than ourselves, one of the greatest feelings in this world. This is why CHF has been such a great and meaningful experience for me.”– Grace Li, V Form
“CHF was the right Saturday class for me, and I know it can be for many others as well. You accomplish many things on the farm but above all you get to spend real quality time in the outdoors helping the family at Chestnut Hill. Refreshing both physically and mentally, working on the farm is not just hard labor. We picked fruit, picked peppers, peeled onions, fed baby goats, rode in the bed of the farm truck, and much more. I learned a lot from Jeff about the animals and the workings of the farm. The two and a half hours really flew by, and I felt that I was doing an activity the whole time and was never bored. At the end of each morning, we could go to the farmstand and buy some delicious apples, baked goods, or even ice cream. The food was delicious, and I really liked that I was supporting a small business. Because we worked on the farm, we were also gifted some produce in our time there. I got a cute pumpkin that sat on my desk around Halloween, and Grace and Maya both took home some peppers, carrots, and other vegetables. These fun little occurrences enhanced our farm experience. Working hard together brought Grace, Maya, and me closer. Through our work, we felt that we made a positive contribution to Chestnut Hill Farm and the wider community. Many St. Mark’s students are unable to participate in after-school community service, so service-based Saturday classes are a great option to engage at a deeper level with the community off-campus.”– Daniela Ortiz, V Form
Maya Scully is a IV form boarding student from New York City. Maya has two dogs, and she loves animals and traveling.