Jambo! This morning, “The Last Maasai Warriors” from Kenya, Wilson Meikuaya and Jackson Ntirkana, visited the KPS Middle and Upper Schools. On behalf of Free the Children (http://www.freethechildren.com), an international charity organization and global education partner, Wilson and Jackson spoke to students and faculty about Maasai culture – past and present, and shared their personal stories of adaptation, bravery, pride, balance and leadership.
The KPS school community enjoyed learning about Wilson and Jackson’s experiences growing up in rural Kenya (in the region KPS students visited in 2009), the challenges their communities continue to face, the importance of education, and Free The Children’s role in the Maasai Mara and the other countries they work in. Seeing and learning about the Maasai’s four primary weapons – arrows, spears, rungus (clubs) and machetes – was fun, too!
To learn more about Wilson and Jackson and to view/purchase their autobiography, visit http://shop.metowe.com/products/thelastmaasaiwarriors.
On Thursday, October 11th, KPS will take part in celebrating the 1st United Nations’ International Day of the Girl, to “help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” International Day of the Girl is a movement to speak out about gender bias and advocate for girls’ rights everythere. Specificically, the collective mission is to:
Shatter Stereotypes – End Injustices – Demand Equality – Change the World
KPS Senior Annie McMullan ’13 spent part of her 2012 summer vacation volunteering with Operation Smile in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On Tuesday, Sept. 25th, Annie spoke to the entire Upper School community, sharing organization and trip information, photos and reflections from her amazing experiences in Africa. Annie was one of two American students selected to attend this mission.
Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that “heals children’s smiles, forever changing their lives.” Since 1982, Operation Smile — through the help of dedicated medical volunteers — has provided more than 3.5 million comprehensive patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.
We are pleased to provide the Kent Place School community with a preliminary list of service and departmental trips that we are considering offering during Spring Break 2013. We will utilize the summer months to collect feedback and plan further before finalizing the list and scheduling a Global Trips Information Meeting in late-September. The application and enrollment process will begin in October.
World Languages: China (Tentative Dates: Fri., March 8 – Mon., March 18)
KPS is partnering with WildChina to offer Chinese-language and non-language learners the opportunity to experience a three-city (Beijing, Xi’an & Shanghai) immersion adventure. WildChina organizes customized, immersive travel programs led by highly knowledgeable guides backed by a network of expert consultants. Designed to promote discovery, excitement and understanding, these distinctive journeys are ideally suited for students, teachers and academics. This trip is open to all students in Grades 9-12 in 2012-13, and Chinese-language students only in Grade 8. Chinese-language students will be granted preference in the admission process.
Service/International: Tanzania (Tentative Dates: Fri., March 8 – Mon., March 18)
KPS is partnering with World Leadership School (WLS) to offer a return travel, service and leadership building opportunity in Tanzania, Africa. The travel team with spend one full work week at our partner school in Sanya Juu, the Faraja Primary School, completing a project that will support Faraja and its students with physical disabilities. In addition, the travel team will explore the city of Moshi, which sits at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro; discover and experience the Masai culture; and experience a safari tour of the Ngorongoro Crater – in search of the Big Five! This trip is open to students in Grades 8-12 in 2012-13.
Middle School/Leadership: Washington, D.C. (Tentative Dates: Fri., March 8 – Wed., March 13)
KPS administrators and faculty plan to create a customized “Leadership Tour” of our Nation’s Capital. This 5-day/4-night motor coach tour, designed for MS students, will include visits to monuments, museums and government buildings, guest lectures from stakeholders in various industries, a meeting on “the hill” and individual leadership building workshops. The trip will accommodate a diverse set of young leaders, especially those who appreciate history, politics and journalism, among others. This trip is open to students in Grades 7-8 in 2012-13. Grade 8 students will be granted preference in the admission process.
Service/Domestic: New Mexico “Exploring the tradition of the Pueblo Indian world view” (We expect this 6 to 8-day trip would be open to students in Grades 8-12.)
World Languages: French-Language Immersion in France or Canada (We expect this 6 to 10-day trip would be open to French-language students in Grades 9-12.)
Students may respond to firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate the trip that interests them and why they intend to apply next fall. No preference will be granted to those who respond this year, however, the responses will be helpful as the planning process moves forward.
“Before I went on the Global Service Learning Initiative trip with Kent Place School, I associated Costa Rica with the rainforest, poison dart frogs, and zip-lining. I had never travelled to Central America or even been out of the country without my family. When I think of Costa Rica today, I think of the 10 incredible days I spent in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle that changed my life. I had expectations of changing the community; instead, the community changed me.” – Madison Mastrangelo ’15
“This trip has helped me recognize all that I have and what I can do to help others. But most importantly, I learned how people can be happy with the little they have and how the whole community of Chilamate takes care of each other. Pura Vida!” – Molly Gilbert ’15
Regarding climbing the Pacaya Volcano, “With the wind whipping my face and nothing but a large stick with which to hold my balance, I stood quivering, staring with frightened eyes at the last leg of the journey: a quick hike over loose volcanic ash, with the breathtakingly stunning drops all around. I was convinced that there was no way I could ever finish that climb, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.” – Madeline Ketley ’13
“Everyone deserves to feel this feeling that you can’t quite describe. This trip was more than going out of my comfort zone, doing service, or exploring a new country; it was a wonderfully overwhelming combination of new experiences and knowledge, pushing myself the hardest I ever have, becoming friends with students and locals I hadn’t know before, and understanding what “Global Service Learning” truly means.” – Kathleen Brody ’15
Regarding the Lower Ninth Ward in NOLA, “The once-populated neighborhood was now inhabited by empty lawns and ruined houses. I tried to imagine what it was like before: children playing in the streets while neighbors talked on a porch. Now only a handful of houses made up the too-quiet neighborhoods. The lack of progress that should’ve been made over the past seven years was disturbing. However, it inspired me. I wanted to help, to make a difference; to try to bring back what was lost.” - Veronica Child ’14
Referring to a conversation she had with a small museum owner – and the father of the owner’s home being rebuilt: “He made one remark that particularly captured my heart. He explained that at times “young people can be more concerned with personal image. Girls will travel out to the beaches of Cancun or other sunny spots to get a tan.” Then he said, “But you chose to give me the opportunity to be close to my grandchildren again…” - Julia Mills ’14
On Monday, April 10, the Kent Place School Community held its annual Perspectives Day, celebrating a meaningful year devoted to the theme of Homes and Homelessness. From the Teens Tackle Homelessness conference KPS hosted in November, to the Global Service Learning Initiatives’ home building projects in March, from our community service work with Bridges to our donations to Covenant House for the MLK Day of Service, Perspectives Day is truly a culmination of a theme that has been present all year, and will continue to be on our minds much beyond this special day on campus. Global, diverse and ethical perspectives on poverty, homes, homelessness and communities were shared throughout the day. This topic is relevant and timely for our students, as rising social leaders in this challenging economic time.
Special Thanks to Nancy Dougherty, a parent/ alumnae/ former board member/ and architect, was instrumental in creating an all-school building project to align with this year’s “Homes and Homelessness” theme. A team from her company, Studio 1200, created an all-school structure that reflects the feelings and actions that allow our students to “feel at home” at Kent Place….
And, the KPS Maintenance Department, led by Mr. Joe Berdetta, Director of Facilities. Joe and his team made Nancy’s vision a reality, creating unique structures that brought these special projects to life.
Also, as a result of the day, more than 600 boxes of oatmeal were delivered to two special foundations near and dear to the KPS community: Bridges (http://www.bridgesoutreach.org/) and Covenant House (http://www.covenanthouse.org/homeless-youth-shelter/new-jersey).
Kudos to the Perspectives Day Planning Committee, especially Director of Diversity Henaz Bhatt, for providing a very special day to a very special school community.
35 Upper School Students and 8 KPS Chaperones returned home safely this weekend following adventorous service trips to Costa Rica, Guatemala and New Orleans, Louisiana. All three groups completed admirable work building (or-rebuilding) homes and a community center… all while managing to have plenty of fun in between shifts! Activities included hiking and whitewater rafting in CR, observing an erupting volcano in Guatemala, and listening to Jazz at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter – and going on an airboat tour in the swamps of Louisiana! Congratulations to all participants and leaders!
Earlier this week, the Kent Place School Diversity Council hosted students from St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, an all-boys Catholic school located in Newark, for the 4th Annual “School Swap.” The swap is a unique opportunity that offers Kent Place students the chance to have thought provoking discussions with their peers and students from a different school. This year the conversation was centered on privilege, power and allyship.
A group of 22 Kent Place students hosted the visitors from St. Benedict’s throughout the day, attending classes, meetings and clubs. The boys experienced a typical day at an all-girls school. In the morning, the visiting cohort attended a workshop and assembly run by Director of Diversity Henaz Bhatt and student members of the Kent Place Diversity Council. Then, on Wednesday, the same 22 Kent Place students “swapped” and spent a day-in-the-life of students at St. Benedict’s. The group will continue the discussion in a completely different environment.
KPS is committed to its mission to educate its students for responsible participation in a global community. To learn more about diversity initiatives at Kent Place School, please visit, www.kentplace.org/about/diversity. Congrats to the Diversity Council on this successful partnership!