Exonians Enjoy Community Service

From baking with Mrs. Parris to cleaning beaches, students and faculty alike participated in 90 community service projects on Community Action Day. The events, which were organized by ESSO, gave students a day off of school to focus on serving the community both on and off campus.

"I thought it was a lot of fun and is a great way for people to really get involved in the surrounding community," lower Tommy Miller said. "I helped out with spreading wood chips at the baseball fields behind the Main Street School and doing work like that always makes me feel good once it's completed."

Prep Frank Dwyer agreed, adding on that the events supported one of Exeter’s core beliefs. "It was good that it got us to help out the community, which is a big part of the ‘non sibi’ experience that Exeter provides," he said.

Most believed that the events this year fitted Community Action Day better than last year. "There were more practical choices to choose from," upper Jack Bright said. Last year, everybody just cleaned the dorms and that wasn’t really helping anyone."

Many students were disappointed that they couldn’t completely finish their service projects in the time frame provided, as they were enjoying helping out. "We organized books for a while, but weren't able to finish. When we had to leave, I had this feeling like I wanted to finish what I started," lower Austin Lowell said. "I think it's a good idea to take a break once in a while to help out."

Upper Eugene Siegel shared similar sentiments. "I went to the Seacoast Science Center to help throw rocks back into the ocean and possibly save a little kid from getting hurt when they run at the 5K," he said. "Even with two buses full of people, we couldn’t finish the job. I really wanted to help out the community."

Even though Community Action Day emphasizes ‘non sibi’ to Exonians, some have noticed that not all students were engaged with their community service. "I think that the Community Action Day went really well, and I had a lot of fun," prep Tessa Vaccaro said. "However, despite feeling like the day is a great way to give back, I feel like the meaning of it has been lost on some people."

Some participants felt that the projects were not as comprehensive as they could have been. "I do think that more thought could have been given to some of the projects; for example I cleaned up Swasey but there wasn't much trash so most people didn't have anything to do and we got let out by 10:30 a.m.," senior Tez Clark said.

Despite the pleasure of serving the community, many are not looking forward to having Saturday classes. "The bad thing about Community Action Day is that we have to make up class on Saturday," Dwyer said.

Although the event will not take place next year, some hope that it is continued in the near future. "I know that next year there isn't a Community Action Day, but hopefully it will be brought back in the future because it's great to help out and do volunteer work like this," Miller said.

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