March Update from the Head of School
March 1, 2020

Dear Green Hedges Families,
At Green Hedges School we believe students gain deeply from experiences where they are engaged with others and community. It gives students a sense of purpose. We are excited to launch our first-ever Community Engagement Week at Green Hedges from April 27 - May 1. Rene’ Wilkinson, parent of Caden in Grade 7, is leading a wonderful group of parent volunteers to plan for the week. We’ll have presentations and learning opportunities about Community Engagement, each grade level will be involved in community engagement throughout the week, and we will end with a culminating Love Grows Here event for the entire GHS community. Watch for more details in WAAG .

In 2016, Harvard University published the report “Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good Through the Admission Process.” The report, which has now been endorsed by more than 175 other selective colleges and universities, called for creating better and more authentic ways of gauging student talent. It made recommendations for schools to reduce the emphasis on standardized testing, to discourage students from overloading their schedules with AP courses, and to ask college admission officers to focus less on the breadth of student extracurricular commitments and more on the quality and authenticity of that involvement.

Overall, the report asked colleges to honor students who are engaged positively and authentically in their community and made these recommendations about community engagement to students:

  • Students should be encouraged to engage in meaningful, sustained community engagement that is authentically chosen, consistent, well structured, and provides the opportunity for reflection both individually and with peers and adults.
  • Students should be encouraged to take collective action that tackles community challenges.
  • Students should be encouraged to have authentic, meaningful experiences with diversity that focus on “doing with” not “doing for.”
  • Students should be encouraged to engage in service that develops gratitude and a sense of responsibility for the future.
Grade 5 organizes a Giving Tree each year to collect donations for the Committee for Helping Others.
Green Hedges has been committed to giving back for many years. A few examples include:

  • Food for Others
  • Recycling Program
  • Coat Drive
  • Service Day at Northern Virginia Services
  • Clothing drive for infants
  • Pennies for Peace
  • Stewardship Day
  • Giving Tree
  • Bake sale for World Central Kitchen
  • Food preparation for a local hypothermia shelter

We know these programs can transform lives. As you head into Spring, I hope each student and family will identify a way to make the world a better place and commit to a life of engagement and purpose.

We are using our Community Engagement Week as a springboard for year-long engagement at Green Hedges.

Jennifer P. Bohnen
Head of School

We inspire young people of talent and promise to develop clear values, a desire for wisdom, and an appreciation for all endeavors which broaden the mind and enlighten the spirit.