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Service as a Way of Life

At DCD, scholarship and citizenship are interdependent. Central to DCD’s mission is a commitment to “inspire students to become caring, ethical members of the larger world by emphasizing thoughtful citizenship and respect for self and others.” For more than a century, our school has been committed to building relationships with people and organizations beyond the borders of our campus, engaging in work that serves the larger community.

Students in every grade participate in some age-appropriate service work during the year, and in Middle School, students take the lead in developing and carrying out their own projects.

Through our service learning program and the daily examples set by our teachers, DCD students learn that small acts of kindness and caring can make a big difference to others.

Service Learning Coordinators

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Daniel Balk

    Daniel Balk 

    Assistant Athletic Director, Physical Education Teacher, Grade 6 History Teacher
  • Photo of Colleen Hultgren

    Mrs. Colleen Hultgren 

    Grade 3 Teacher

Service Learning joins students, faculty, and parents together.

  • DCD’s Parent Association maintains a Community Outreach Committee made up of parent and faculty representatives who work together to coordinate, and execute both school-wide and class-specific projects.
  • DCD holds a special school-wide community service day in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Middle School students participate in five community service afternoons during the year and have the opportunity to exercise entrepreneurial skills, creativity, and leadership through initiating their own service experiences.  
During the school year, DCD students across every grade level complete over 30 different service projects and drives to benefit the greater community. 

Explore Some of DCD’s Service learning activities

List of 18 items.

  • Birthday Bags for the Walker School

    DCD Kindergarteners decorated and stuffed birthday bags for children at the Walker School in Needham, which offers a residential program and services to children dealing with complex emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges. Many residential students arrive without any of their own belongings, and because funding is tight, birthday celebrations are often limited. A representative from the Walker School visited DCD to share an age-appropriate description of the program, so that Kindergartners could see how their small act of kindness would go a long way in making some other children very happy.
  • Biscuits, Blankets & A Fun Run for the Animal Rescue League

    Both Pre-K and Fourth Graders show their love of animals with their outreach efforts benefitting the Animal Rescue League. Pre-K students make chew toys, bake dog biscuits and stir up cat chow for their furry friends. Fourth Graders collect used towels and blankets to keep shelter animals warm. Annually, the entire school participates in a “Fun Run” to raise money and awareness for pets awaiting adoption. 
  • Car Wash to Benefit DCD Horizons

    Each spring, our third-grade students hold a car wash with the proceeds benefitting the Dedham Country Day School Horizons program, that seeks to close the achievement gap between low-income elementary school children and their more advantaged peers. 
  • Coloring Books to Benefit The Children’s’ Pediatric Ward at MGH

    First Graders create coloring books for children undergoing treatment at The Children’s’ Pediatric Ward at Mass General Hospital. The coloring books are meant to make the time spent at the hospital more enjoyable for children facing cancer treatment, providing comfort, support, and friendship from one child to another. 
  • Drive to Benefit Cradles to Crayons

    Each fall, Middle School students organize and promote a two-week clothing drive to collect gently used and new boys and girls winter coats and jackets for Cradles to Crayons in Boston. The students create posters, make announcements at school gatherings, and post notices in the Weekly e-News to promote the drive. The coats are then dropped off at the Giving Factory, Cradles to Crayons warehouse, where clothing is organized and given out to children in need. 
  • Gift Bags and Bookmark Project to Benefit the Italian Home for Children

    Third Graders make gift bags for children at the Italian Home, a local residential and day treatment facility for children and families in crisis. Students donate their own gently used books along with colorful bookmarks they make using tissue paper, contact paper, and ribbons. Each child’s family also purchases craft items and school supplies to be included in the gift bags, which the children then put together.
  • Hale Reservation Clean Up

    Our Middle School students travel to nearby Hale Reservation, a 1200-acre natural resource habitat whose mission is to provide a variety of educational and recreational programs. The kids help in trimming back the trails as well as landscaping and maintenance of certain public use areas. 
  • Math-A-Thon for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    Third-graders participate in this education-based fundraiser, completing a math curriculum supplement after obtaining sponsorships from family and friends. The funds raised by students benefit St. Jude, where doctors and scientists work to eradicate childhood cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. 
  • Nameplates for The Charles River Center

    Students painted nameplates for clients served by the Charles River Center, which supports adults with developmental disabilities. Students were able to meet and talk with many of the clients, to listen to their stories and find out what their lives were like. One student commented, “meeting with them taught us that it doesn’t matter if you are different or have a disability. One of the clients that met with us shared a poem that she had written. It was an exciting and unique experience to be able to support CRC and meet the people we were helping.” 
  • Nothing But Nets Malaria Awareness Event

    Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria, a leading cause of death among children in Africa.
    DCD Middle School students learned about the dangers of malaria, and what can be done to prevent it.  They annually host a Shoot-a-Thon for Lower School students, from which they raise money to buy mosquito netting to help prevent the spread of malaria. 
  • Oxfam Fast

    Students planned, advertised, and supported the implementation of an optional lunch fast for students in Grades 5 through 8. The students spent the morning of the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day in January learning about hunger awareness and other issues addressed by OXFAM. They also designed posters and encouraged their peers to fast on a day in March. Last year more than a hundred members of the DCD community fasted to raise money for OXFAM by donating the cost of their lunch or $3.50.
  • Painting and Bingo with Seniors at the Dedham Council on Aging

    Second Graders visit senior citizens at a local senior center, painting, playing Bingo, and having pizza together. Working in small groups, seniors help the children design and paint rocks that are later turned into scary monsters. Later, the whole group plays Bingo. This tradition is always an unforgettable one for both children and seniors alike. 
  • Recording Books on CD

    Sharing their love of reading with other children, Fifth Graders annually record books on CD to give to disabled, low income, and at-risk children in the Greater Boston area. 
  • Thanksgiving Basket Bread Baking and Drive

    For the past 16 years, DCD has partnered with the Dedham Youth Commission to provide Thanksgiving “baskets” containing all the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. This year, DCD contributed baskets for 20 families. The project is organized by the Middle School Student Outreach Committee and involves the entire DCD community—students, parents, and teachers. The Dedham Youth Commission, with the assistance of the Dedham Food Pantry, helps to locate families in need. 
  • Walk for Hunger

    Many students, faculty, and parents participate in the annual 20-mile Walk for Hunger that is held each May in Boston. This past year, twenty-seven students, six parents, and two faculty members participated in the walk, raising thousands for Project Bread.
  • Walk-A-Thon to Support The Children’s Hospital League of Boston

    The Children's Hospital League's mission is to raise funds to provide hope, miracles and health to children and their families by funding important patient services, medical research, and capital improvements for the hospital.

    In 2015, DCD’s 2nd Graders conducted a walk-a-thon in the Rand Gym to raise money and awareness for the Boston Children’s Hospital League.  Their hard work (asking for pledges and walking!) paid off.  In total, $2,500+ was raised for the cause.
  • Wounded Warriors: Operation Gratitude

    DCD students participated in Wounded Warriors: Operation Gratitude, a national project to thank soldiers returning home to recover from injuries suffered in combat. Students wrote and decorated 29 letters thanking them for protecting our country and letting them know someone was thinking of them during this time. 
  • Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

    A twenty-five year tradition, each year Fifth Graders organize and execute a school-wide Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign, promoting the program, encouraging other students to participate by collecting money on Halloween, and distributing the collection boxes. Once all the collection boxes are turned in, Fifth Graders count all the donations.  

Community Service News

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