Freshmen Participate in Day of Caring Efforts Around the Community

“Next time: snacks!”


Emerson Ritter, Staff Writer

Due to the pandemic, students could not go on field trips for years. Now, that has changed. For their first post-pandemic field trip, the freshmen had an opportunity to get back in the world and give back to their community. During this “Day of Caring,” freshman students traveled to Meriwether Lewis Elementary and Murray Elementary to read to first graders, went to Crozet Library to decorate and clean, and stayed at school to mulch greenspaces.

Although there has not been any effort to continue the tradition since the first Day of Caring in 2019, again due to the pandemic, fifth graders at Meriwether Lewis who participated that year got to see their younger classmates have the same experience when, this year, teachers and administration decided to get the ball rolling again and see if they could make Day of Caring 2.0 work.

In these efforts, “I think what it does for us is it reminds us that we are not just here for ourselves,” Connor Peters, a Freshman Seminar teacher at Western said. 

Peters elaborated, “A lot of times I think it’s easy, when you’re young, no matter who you are, to get carried away in yourself, and this is a great opportunity to give back and be part of something bigger than that.” 

“They [elementary school students] look at you all as adults, just because you’re bigger, but in reality, you are young leaders in the community, so for you all as 9th graders, it’s one of the first few times where you are introduced to this idea of leadership.” Peters added. 

Peters explained: “It was impactful, and those little experiences over time build up and create the people they are going to be one day, whether we realize it or not.”

This year, after years of inactivity, there were a few kinks in the system, one being the tardiness of the buses. Lynn Define, the organizer of the off-campus Day of Caring said that improvements could certainly be made.

“Next year for the Day of Caring, I’d like to arrange it so that every freshman would go across to Brownsville…so we can walk across.” Define added. Peters also said that next year he thinks the school should do it for longer than an hour so that we have more of a chance to engage with the younger students. Finally, Peters adds that “We should’ve had snacks,” so next year, bring your appetite.