Community Service is an important part of the Rock Point School curriculum and all students are required to participate in some form. The opportunities are very diverse. The goal behind such activities is to promote a sense of stewardship, community responsibility, and joy in helping others both in and out of the school community.
Rock Point students participate in several projects over the school year. Some of these take place on the property helping the property manager with seasonal tasks – preparing for the maple sugaring season by hanging buckets on trees, cleaning up after the snow melts, cutting and stacking wood – and some are part of larger community ventures. Annually, we raise money for COTS (Committee on Temporary Shelter) through our Ooky Spooky 5k Run, hosted at the school and managed by students. In the spring, students participate in the COTS walk, raising money to help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. During maple sugaring season, student leaders provide tours of our maple sugaring process for preschool and elementary school students.
Throughout the year there are other service opportunities that arise organically from student interest. For example, the students have raised money for Episcopal Relief and Development, served on the Rock Point Commons Energy Committee, participated in planning community events for young people, and raised money to purchase $10 stoves for families in need in developing nations. Many years students and staff organize a food drive for our local food pantry and often at Thanksgiving students participate in a Turkey Drive!
Students on an individual basis seek out internships or volunteer opportunities at local organizations such as the Peace and Justice Center, Outright Vermont, after-school programs with younger children, Bike Recycle, Burlington City Arts, Echo Center (Science & Nature Museum) and more. We help students who are interested in particular trades or careers connect with mentors in the community for internships. Recently we have had students intern with a stained glass artist, a leather craftsman, and a radio station.
Below, check out this video from the "Stuck in Vermont" series on our sugaring education program.