Throughout the holiday season - and even during their Holiday Break - Norfolk Academy students of all ages led community service projects that helped people in need.
Academy emphasizes the importance of aiding the outside community. Each year, students participate in dozens of volunteer projects, in which they leave campus. While such projects are more challenging amid a worldwide pandemic, students have found ways to continue to give.
Among their holiday service projects:
- Around Thanksgiving, Lower School students collected well over 200 pajamas and several hundred dollars that went to Pajama Jams, a nonprofit that Academy parent Erika Tucker founded to distribute sleepwear to children across Hampton Roads. Middle School and Upper School led collections for Pajama Jams shortly before Holiday Break.
- Around Thanksgiving, Middle School students collected hundreds of canned goods that went to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
- Kendall Pagach '22 led a drive to collect feminine hygiene products and bras. These items are expensive and difficult to purchase for low income women. Pagach's drive sought to serve those in the BIPOC community (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).
- Literacy Fellows of the Batten Leadership Program collected used children's books. Studies have shown that children in low-income households hear fewer words in their early years and typically have fewer books in their homes than children in middle income homes; those disparities can lead to learning deficits as children enter school. Middle School students also led a book collection.
- Upper School's Reach Interact Club led Operation Christmas Child, which collected school supplies, sports equipment, toys, hygiene products, and other goods for less-fortunate children around the globe.
- On the first day of Holiday Break, NA's Special Olympics Club delivered holiday gifts to Special Olympics athletes.
- Also over the break, EDI Fellows delivered personalized desks and gifts to public school students learning from home. Groups from the Batten Leadership Program collaborated on this project, with the EDI Fellows building the desks.
- Just before Christmas, Bridget Tan '21 delivered gifts that Academy students and faculty donated to a migrant farming family on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
And the students' service is not finished even though the holiday season is over. Fourth graders are still collecting new and gently used coats in conjunction with WAVY-TV's annual Coats for Families drive. The students' collection continues through January 29.
To see more photos of these service projects, please visit Academy's Instagram page.