Falcon Quill

Community Service Day

Students+from+FWCD+and+TVS+came+together+at+the+Como+Community+Garden+on+MLK+day.
Students from FWCD and TVS came together at the Como Community Garden on MLK day.

Students from FWCD and TVS came together at the Como Community Garden on MLK day.

Steve Stackhouse

Steve Stackhouse

Students from FWCD and TVS came together at the Como Community Garden on MLK day.

Nate Wallace, Online Editor in Chief

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50 years ago, a murder shook our nation. In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated; however, decades later, Americans continue to celebrate the memory of King with a national holiday on the third Monday in January each year.

In 2018, students from Fort Worth Country Day and Trinity Valley decided to join hundreds of others to honor King’s legacy with a Day of Service. The MLK Day of Service in Fort Worth, Texas was organized by Tarrant Churches Together and more than 600 volunteers were spread over several locations to help the entire community. Steve Stackhouse, Head of Upper School, helped introduce the event after attending the Student Diversity Leadership Conference along with faculty member Hester Burdman, Assistant Head of Middle School, and several US students. At the SDLC, Fort Worth Country Day and Trinity Valley School students worked together to devise joint activities and decided to do more practical events in the future.

“Even though we are rivals with TVS, we have so much in common with them that we are able to work together effectively,” Stackhouse said.

During the Day of Service, FWCD and TVS went to the Como Community Gardens to clean up, till, and lay a fresh layer of mulch on the area. These gardens are used to teach residents how to grow their own food, as well as to serve as a rehabilitation activity for nearby women.

“I hope that, given the convenience of the location, we might be able to support them on a regular basis,” Stackhouse said.

 

A handful of FWCD students were in charge of transporting mulch from a giant pile into wheelbarrows to lay down as a foundation for the garden. Photo by Steve Stackhouse

The project came to fruition this year after Kathy Roemer, US Health and Wellness Counselor, pushed to have the Upper School involved in the Day of Service. With six years of experience volunteering at this event, Roemer helped coordinate the project by contacting Tarrant Churches Together to set up a joint group service event for both TVS and FWCD. Roemer wanted the community service day to be much more direct with a hands on activity. Working on a garden in the Como community showed students the value of their service.

“We got to see the people we are feeding, that is a powerful feeling,” Roemer said.

Before students went out to the Como Community Gardens, a service was held at the Baker Chapel AME to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and discuss the impact of the day of service in Fort Worth. Speakers at the event included Mayor Betsy Price and U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey among others.

A large portion of the FWCD volunteers was made up of the varsity basketball team. Coach Joe Breedlove Jr. ’78 decided that this year, his team would bond through service and not only had them come out to help in the garden on Monday, but had the majority of his team sing in the choir during the service.

“I’ve never been in a church with a gospel choir before, and singing as a part of it was very eye-opening,” Harris Podell ’18 said.

Fort Worth Country Day plans to continue the MLK Day of Service in the future as well as participate in other joint service events with Trinity Valley School.

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