Written by Kayla Rogan & Melissa Li:
Wheatley’s Day of Service and Learning was held this year on Thursday, October 19th. Every year, students and faculty partake in a day of giving back to the community, collaborating with nearby organizations and companies to provide community service both on and off Wheatley grounds.
Students were able to sign up for various activities such as:
- Beach/parks cleanups
- Making art work
- Decorating supply boxes for homeless children
- Engaging in confidence building workshops
- Performing music numbers for students at North Side
- Sorting ponytails for alopecia patients
- Preparing meals and desserts at the Ronald Mcdonald House
- Decorating pillowcases for children in hospitals
- Collecting donations for animal shelters
- Revitalizing Wheatley planting beds and garden
- Completing maintenance in the Wheatley Woods
To gain more insight in Wheatley students’ experiences with 2023’s Day of Service and Learning, we conducted interviews, asking Wheatley students the following questions:
- What activity did you participate in?
- What did you achieve during your activity?
- How did you feel throughout the activity?
- What does Day of Service and Learning mean do you?
Here’s what some Wheatley students had to say!
Anna Han (Sophomore):
Anna volunteered at the Children’s Learning Center and organized a physical therapy closet. She was happy to assist children in their everyday learning environment and make a direct impact on their lives. For Anna, DOLS represents a day to give back to the community and be grateful for the changes that we can positivity make alongside classmates.
Robert Stronge (Junior):
Rob assisted in the Wheatley woods cleanup, making improvements to the bike trail, picking up branches, and overall making the woods a more beautiful environment. He claimed it felt great to assist in this cleanup, especially since he is a part of the Cross Country team and utilizes the woods for running workouts or daily mileage. To Rob, DOSL is about making a meaningful impact on your community.
Christopher O’Connor (Senior):
Chris participated in the beach clean up at Sands Point Preserve. After arriving at the preserve, he followed the nature trails down to the beach and then collected garbage along the shore with bags dedicated for either garbage collection or recycling. He felt great to give back and make a difference in the environment. To Chris, DOSL means giving back to the community and that even in the smallest actions can make a big difference.
Thaddeus Bhagan (Freshman):
Thaddeus performed a music concert at North Side. The orchestra, band, and chorus participated. He said this was a very fun experience and he is happy he signed up. For Thaddeus, DOLS means spending time to bring happiness to others and give back to the community with the talents you may provide.
Eleni Daskalokis (Junior – Student Leader):
Eleni volunteered at the Floral Park Centennial Gardens this year. At the activity her group pulled out weeds from gardening beds, as the garden beds were being prepared for the coming growing season. This effort made a great impact on the garden. Eleni claimed she felt fulfilled in this activity, as it allowed her to make a significant difference in the environment. For Eleni, DOSL represents going out in your community, helping out in any way you can, and seeing the impact you make.
Alicia Wang (Junior):
Alicia volunteered at the Hair We Share activity. She had previous volunteer experience with the organization, and was glad to work with them again. Throughout the day, she sorted wigs and checked databases. Some people who have donated their hair chose to have a tracker in which they can see the progress of their hair and how it is being used. Alicia went through the organization’s stats to see which donors should be sent pictures of their created wigs. Alicia felt happy to help out through the activity. For Alicia, DOSL represents feeling connected to a cause.
Robert Marasia (Freshman):
Robert volunteered at the dog shelter. He created flyers for dogs that needed a home and posters for dog treats to be donated. He had a great experience with this activity, as he understands the impact that it can make on animals. For Robert, DOSL means working together with people you do not usually talk to, and making a change together (team work makes the dream work!)
Alyssa Bhagan (Junior → Student Leader):
Alyssa volunteered at the North Side Wellness fair this year. She read to 2nd grade students, did a craft with them, and set up the wellness fair. Alyssa loved the activity and felt joy working with the north side students. She especially felt happy when seeing the smiles on the North Side student’s faces. For Alyssa, DOSL represents spending a day not thinking about yourself but making a difference in the lives of others.
Matthew Cunney (Junior):
Matthew spent the day working on the Red Ribbon tree tying activity. He said it was an amazing way to spend the day and that he had a lot of fun in the group. For Matthew, DOSL means serving your community in a positive way alongside others.
Giulia Petti (Junior → Student Leader):
Giulia spent the day at Northside. She read halloween books to 2nd graders and also did a halloween activity with them. She said the kids were very cute and she loved spending the day making them happy. For Giulia, DOSL serves as a really important way to give back to the community, to get out of our school bubble for the day, and see how we can help.
To Wheatley, Day of Service and Learning represents our ability to give back to the community that has served us for so many years. It is so meaningful to spend time with friends working towards a common cause and being able to make a difference in the community. Not only could we provide for the community, but we could also learn about our environment, its people, and how to be better citizens.
Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who made this day successful!