Day of Service

On October 10, Chicago Friends School students participated in Chicago Friends School’s first day of service, presented as an alternative to the Columbus Day holiday. Because we are studying where our food comes from right now, as part of our Trash and Treasure theme, I wanted to do a service day that engaged kids in learning about those who may have difficulty obtaining their meals. After reaching out to several organizations, we ended up working with the Night Ministry, an organization that does bus outreach to homeless people throughout Chicago. The busses bring sack lunches and also provide a safe, portable place to get some basic health care.

Our students made 100 sack lunches, or enough for one night’s bus outreach. Chicago Friends School families donated almost all of the food needed to make the lunches, and students had fun preparing lunches on the day of service. We divided up the work between sandwich makers and bag stuffers. Students also made encouraging cards to enclose in them. Using food service gloves made making sandwiches sanitary and it felt very professional to the students! Our parent community kicked in as well, doing everything from chaperoning the trip, to supervising sandwich making to doing runs to the grocery store when supplies ran low!

After the lunches were made, students, staff, and parents delivered them to the night ministry. There we met with staff members who work every day with people who are homeless. I was impressed with how very seriously both staff and students took the opportunity to learn more.

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Karen Carney

is the head of school. Karen’s career demonstrates a rich and diverse set of skills: project oversight, curriculum development, educator training and mentoring, and classroom instruction. Prior to coming to Chicago Friends School, she worked as a senior specialist in science curriculum for American Institutes for Research. Before this, she oversaw educational programming at the Adler Planetarium, first as its director of education and then as associate vice president for visitor experience and learning. She has also worked in instruction and teacher development at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Learning Sciences Research Institute and has authored more than 20 scholarly papers, book chapters, and conference presentations.

Karen is an active, dedicated Friend (Quaker) and has held various leadership positions at the Evanston Friends Meeting. She enjoys baking, cooking, and painting and is a member of the Playmation improv comedy team.

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