Head's Service Challenge
The Head's Service Challenge is an opportunity for students to participate in meaningful service activities and contribute to others in this time of need. Service is a powerful aspect of student learning, social-emotional health, and creativity.
How to Participate
- Review the lists of voluntary, age-appropriate service activities for students below.
- Snap a photo of students participating in the activity*
- Complete the Head's Service Challenge Log Form, and attach your photo(s) of the student in action!
- Use the hashtag #BarrieGivesBack when featuring these photos on your own social media
*Photos will be used on Barrie social media sites and email newsletters
Barrie Upper School students may use these projects to meet their service/internship graduation requirement. They should log their hours through X2vol as usual. Please contact Internship Coordinator Nicole Maggio for more information, or if you have any questions.
#WeAreInThisTogether | #BarrieVirtuallyAmazing | #BarrieCaringSharingGiving | #BarrieAnnualFund | #BarrieGivesBack
Volunteer Service Activities
To share Acts of Kindness and Service
Montgomery County Kindness Rocks Project: Students find rocks, paint them with inspirational messages, and hide them during walks for others to find. See this Facebook page that tracks them! Anyone can participate and shout out to Barrie School on their rock! Please sanitize the rock surfaces and use gloves when handling them to prevent contamination.
“Chalk your Walk”: There are miles and miles of bike paths and sidewalks. Leave an inspirational message for someone to find using chalk! Or, chalk the sidewalk of a neighbor to let them know they are not alone. Post a picture to show everyone your message of positivity! #BarrieGivesBack
Create COVID-19 Care Packages: The Salvation Army is collecting items for Seniors and vulnerable populations in MoCo and looking for items such as: canned soups and other canned dry goods, gift cards to Subway or Giant, socks, hats, glove, toiletries, large-font activity books like Sudokou, diapers, baby wipes, and sanitizer. *There are several drop-off points in Montgomery County but all donated goods must follow CDC regulation* Please see the Montgomery County Volunteer Center website for guidelines and drop off locations.
Send a Cheer Card for hospitalized children: There are several hospitals around the country that are asking for “Cheer Cards” to be made for sick children who are not able to have visitors due to COVID-19. The Children’s Hospital in Colorado and Nationwide Children’s both offer instructions for sending cards to “special patients” even if you do not know them.
“Sharing Smiles” Email/Mail to Reduce Loneliness: The organization Empowering the Ages (ETA) is asking for help with connecting our vulnerable Senior population with virtual pen pals to share words of inspiration, poetry, and engage in human connection. Families can sign up together or students can sign up individually. Learn more about ETA's new program, Sharing Smiles.
Write letters and create art for isolated older adults: The program, Link Generations, is also requesting student volunteers create art or write letters which can be delivered to Charles E. Smith Life Communities and Ingleside at King Farm. This volunteer opportunity is recommended for students ages 12-18, but with adult assistance, can be done with younger students. Please contact Lori@linkgenerations.org for more information.
Parents and guardians can also sign their children up to write letters of love to special seniors, or “Grandfriends” who would benefit from some extra love. Sign up your child here, or if you have a special “grandfriend” in mind, you can add them to the list so that they can receive letters from others!
Create a “thank you” basket for delivery drivers: Delivery drivers are essential workers who are working incredibly hard to ensure we all get what we need on time during this difficult period. Why not thank them for their service by creating a “thank you” basket on your front porch with candy, snacks, water bottles, or even high demand items such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer? You can personalize it however you would like!
Set up a celebration parade for someone special: Is there someone you know that is celebrating a birthday? An anniversary? Maybe even their high school or college graduation? Plan a celebration car parade in order to celebrate the important milestone in their lives, while respecting the social distancing guidelines put forward by the CDC. Each family remains in their car, but invites the special someone outside onto their yard and drives past waving and celebrating (maybe even throwing out some candy). What a creative way to spread joy!
Start a “Happy Heart” Hunt in your neighborhood: Many neighborhoods are creating weekly window hunts for families to search for when they are out for their walk. Color or cut out a rainbow of hearts (or anything else) and post them in your windows for people to see. Then, invite your neighbors to join the fun and see how fast the happiness spreads. You could also do a “teddy bear” hunt and put teddy bears in your windows. For more examples, please see the Kids for Peace website.
Show respect for the environment by picking up trash during your walk: Spring has officially sprung, and because of that, it is the perfect time to do your part by picking up trash while you take your daily walk. You can also ensure bottles and cans you may discover get properly recycled. You don’t have to travel far in order to make a noticeable impact!
Virtual Storytime: Barrie families and students can take turns live streaming “storytime” via Zoom! Costumes and props highly encouraged. Students are also encouraged to write and illustrate their own stories to share with our Barrie Community. Since parents and students cannot host their own sessions, there would need to be a staff “host” to monitor the session. These storytimes can then be uploaded and made available to those who could not tune in.
Maintain an “Attitude of Gratitude” by recording or creating a Barrie “Shout-out”: The Barrie Staff has been working incredibly hard to ensure school continues, even during these incredibly challenging times. Why not take a moment to record a “shout-out” video to let a special staff member know that you appreciate their hard work! You can also write staff members a letter or draw them a picture. We would love to hear from you! This is especially meaningful during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8, 2020.
“Cheer up the World” Letter Writing Campaign: Help our students from the EFL class send letters and cards of cheer to areas of the world that are under quarantine. For the sake of minimizing potential contamination, please write these letters and cards digitally and submit them to Michelle Layton. A great website for online card creation is canva.com, check it out!
Creative Content for COVID-19 Prevention: Use your skills in art and music to create digital coloring books, songs, flyers, a rap or anything else that helps our younger students understand this scary time. They can be about proper hand-washing techniques or anything regarding virus prevention. They may get featured on the Barrie COVID-19 information page!
*Peer Tutoring Online (to be rolled out soon!) : Mondays, students can sign up to receive tutoring in any subject. Tutorers would need to be selected by teachers and the meetings would need to be hosted by our Dean of Studies for our Prep Students (breakout rooms can be utilized for this purpose).
*Foriegn Language Conversation Partners (to be rolled out soon!): Students in upper level foreign language courses can act as conversation partners for lower level prep students or upper elementary students. These conversations can be peer to peer or small groups, with an upper school student facilitating. Teachers would need to host the meeting, but it would act similarly as Peer Tutors, above.
*Record a “Barrie Workout of the Day”: Students of any age and record a workout video to encourage healthy practices, even when we are stuck inside. The video should be about 7-10 minutes long and feature bodyweight exercises and cardio moves only. These videos must follow the guidelines laid out by Coach Lieberman and Nicole. Please review these Guidelines and examples of how to build your workout.
Record a “how-to” video to share your unique skills with others: Do you have special knowledge, a skill, or talent that you could share with our community? Teach it to us by recording step by step instructions on how to be amazing, just like you! This can be anything, whether it is how to draw a cartoon character, how to juggle, or even how to do the latest Tik Tok dance.
Smithsonian Digital Transcription Volunteers: The Smithsonian institute is looking for volunteers to transcribe documents and historical materials in order to make them more accessible to the general public. You can easily become a “volunpeer,” take a quick training on how to transcribe, and start contributing! There are plenty of projects to choose from. See the Smithsonian Transcription Center for more information.
Make bagged lunches to be distributed by Shepherd's Table: Because Shepherd’s Table can no longer offer in-house dining, there is a great need for ready-to-go lunches that can be picked up or delivered to those in need. Each lunch should have:
- Sandwich (turkey and cheese are most popular, but peanut butter and jelly also works)
- A piece of fruit
- A single-serve bag of potato chips
- Juice box (optional)
- Granola bar (optional)
If you’re not able to assemble lunches but can drop off sandwiches and/or paper lunch bags, that would be wonderful, too!
Drop-off hours are 8:30am-5:30pm at 8106 Georgia Ave, right behind the Fire Station in downtown Silver Spring. If you cannot leave your house for any reason, you can also schedule to have the bagged lunches picked up through Silver Spring Cares.
LibriVox/Learning Ally Reading Volunteer: Volunteer to record yourself reading audio books online with LibriVox and Project Gutenberg. You do not need experience in recording, but you will need to access free software and read an overview of what is expected of readers. For more information, please visit the LibriVox website.
Learning Ally is another organization that is looking for readers. Students must apply first to determine if they are a good fit for the organization. Please see the steps for becoming a volunteer.
Sew Masks, Scrub Caps, or PPE for Healthcare Workers: Companies such as SEEC are looking for volunteers to donate their time to sew masks for their staff members who work closely with vulnerable populations. Students are able to send their donations via the mail and order materials online. They also have tutorial videos on how to create the masks for those who are new to sewing. Visit the Montgomery County Volunteer Center website for more information.
There is also a need for nurse scrub caps (please see this online tutorial). Suburban Hospital is requesting donations for homemade scrub caps from anyone who knows how to sew and has access to the material. Drop off instructions can be provided to any who are interested. Please email Pam Fogan or call 301-896-3093.
Telecare Volunteer for Jubilee: The Jubilee Foundation is looking for Telecare Volunteers to connect with their members of their organization and conduct check-ins, play games, and teach skills using technology. The Jubilee Foundation is dedicated to bettering the lives of adults with developmental disabilities by teaching them life skills and independence. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Blanket Making for Children in Hospitals: If you have an affinity for sewing, knitting, or crocheting, you are able to make blankets for children in coordination with a project spearheaded by the Montgomery County Association for Family and Community Education. The organizer is willing to award community service hours for work that is conducted in your home. Please contact Jean at email@example.com and let her know you are a student.