Lions Give Back During Dwight’s Fifth Annual Service Week

Dwight remains steadfast in its commitment to serving the various communities in which we all are members on campus, locally, and around the world.

During our fifth annual Service Week, students were eager to share their time and talents to help others – fellow New Yorkers in need as well as some of the world’s most vulnerable children – and to protect our environment, continuing what has become one of our School’s most heartfelt traditions.

Lions of all ages put their paws to work through a range of service projects, including student-founded initiatives launched in our Spark Tank incubator with innovation grants from The Dwight School Foundation, underscoring Dwight’s pillar of Community and the International Baccalaureate's focus on service, creativity, and action

Prior to the kick-off of this year’s Service Week, Shane Hansen, Director of Service Learning, said, "I am extremely proud of the service-mindedness of our students and their unwavering commitment to seeking ways to support all members of our community. Seeing Dwight's Service Week spark from an idea five years ago to a powerful and meaningful student-directed annual event is something from which I personally draw great inspiration. It is this kind of leadership that the world needs as we all seek to make our city, nation, and shared world a more inclusive and just place where everyone can have the opportunity to find happiness and joy."

We want to thank everyone who participated in the following Service Week activities:

New York Common Pantry: Making Brown Bag Lunches to Help Feed New Yorkers
Continuing Dwight’s long-standing partnership with the New York Common Pantry, Dwight families made and delivered 175 complete lunches for NYCP’s Help 365 Program, which provides food to New Yorkers who are homeless and hungry. This year, we truly were able to see this tradition grow alongside our Lions, as Harry ’29, and his sister, Callie ’34, participated proudly for their second year in a row!

EAL: Planting Party 
Our EAL Department joined the lion-sized efforts this year through a planting and pot painting party during Service Week’s lunch periods. Students and faculty joyfully joined together in a way that has not been possible for a long time due to the pandemic, and  their colorful pots and plants are now bringing renewed life and vibrancy to our Main and North Campuses.

Forming Futures: Note Making, Assembling Kits, and Clothing Drive 
A non-profit founded by Victoria Buendia-Serrano ’23, Forming Futures is dedicated to helping New York families with low income continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic by packaging and distributing hygiene kits and backpacks filled with essential school supplies. Victoria developed Forming Futures  Forming Futures through Spark Tank, and together with fellow Dwight students, began distributing kits in June 2021. During this year's Service Week, the organization and fellow volunteers packaged 300 kits and included hand-written notes of encouragement in both English and Spanish. They also held a clothing drive to help meet the needs of families this coming winter. 

UNICEF Club: Bake Sale 
As part of their continuing goal to raise awareness and funds in support of UNICEF's critical mission, Dwight’s UNICEF Club held a bake sale and raised over $400 in donations. UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.


New York Strong Club: Pizza Sale
Dwight students launched New York Strong at the start of the pandemic to provide first responders and healthcare workers on the frontlines with daily essentials. Later that year, they received a Spark Tank Service Challenge: Innovation for the Greater Good grant from The Dwight School Foundation in support of their work. They soon expanded into an after-school club hosting service events to help the greater New York community not just in the face of COVID-19, but also with regard to other challenges. During Service Week, members held a pizza sale, raising over $200 in donations given to the Joy J Initiative, an organization that serves disadvantaged communities around the world by equipping volunteers with the tools they need to make a difference in their own neighborhoods. 

 Ocean Conservancy Coastal Cleanup 
Taking efforts beyond city limits, Alexander Svarre ’26 participated in a self-directed beach cleanup as a volunteer in the Ocean Conservancy’s Coastal Cleanup program, which galvanizes individuals and communities worldwide to collect trash that pollutes our waterways, making our coasts cleaner and our ocean healthier. During his two and one-half hour trek, Alexander collected six pounds of trash, not only helping the environment, but also contributing information about the debris to the global effort’s database. 

WISER Club: Raising Awareness and Funds for the Education of Girls in Kenya
The Dwight WISER Club, which has long supported the mission of the WISER School for Girls in Muhuru Bay, Kenya, invited our community to join them during their regular meeting to craft bracelets to be sold during WISER Week in December. That’s when students raise awareness of the Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research (WISER) and funds to support its mission. WISER is dedicated to advancing the education of girls and women in an impoverished area of Kenya; and to providing them with everything they need to succeed, go on to higher education, and become agents of change in their own community.  

We are so proud of the mighty efforts made by all our Lions during Service Week, once again demonstrating that there is no limit to what we can accomplish when we come together in the spirit of collaboration and the greater good.