At the end of February, I received an email from our two Charity Heads requesting a meeting with me.
I love when our girls take initiative and I especially enjoy getting the opportunity to meet with them to discuss their ideas. The girls’ insights, work and proposals are always impressive, demonstrating their intellectual curiosity, courage and particularly in this case, their compassion.
I was able to meet with these two Clementines at the end of last week, along with our Director of Student Life, and our Community Service Coordinator. What they shared with me warmed my heart, and spoke to one of the foundational underpinnings upon which our School has been built- the importance of community engagement.
The girls informed me of their work last term with the class Charity Representatives. They had discussed the need to change the word ‘charity’ within their titles to that of ‘community.’ The girls expressed that the word ‘charity’ felt very divisive creating a feeling of ‘us and them’ and they felt strongly that this was not ideal for encouraging community work that they believed our School deemed important. The girls explained that they had worked as a group to create a mission statement which they hoped to relay with our students and staff in assembly.
The following mission statement would be one that any Clementine, one hundred years ago or today, would connect with:
St. Clement’s School sees community involvement on a local, national and global level, and challenges students to take risks and discover new passions through community outreach opportunities.
While I was impressed with the girls work to develop a mission statement, it was their reasoning around it that was even better. The girls indicated that they wanted to inspire SCS students to become increasingly active members of their communities such that it would ‘inspire education about communities and encourage lifelong learning and passion for community development and involvement.’
As the girls presented in assembly this past Tuesday, I felt an enormous sense of pride, not only for the outcome of their efforts, but for their courage and compassion in taking the initiative to change something important.