Indian Creek School
The students of Indian Creek School, their teachers and administrators have been a welcome addition to The Light House family since 2009. Under the guidance of Nicole Easton, Indian Creek’s Educational Services Coordinator and Principal Bruce Crossman, the students have been fantastic volunteers helping with our community lunch program. They have also generously donated bagged lunches, non-perishable food items for our pantry, toiletries, and filled gift bags for our residents during the holiday season. The Light House salutes you for your hard work and dedication! Congratulations on being our June 2016 Volunteer Spotlight Winner!
How did Indian Creek select The Light House to support?
It is an integral part of the Indian Creek School philosophy that our students be active participants in helping our community. Our goal was to form a partnership that would help our students gain a greater understanding of the realities of homelessness, and where they could have a real, positive impact on homeless prevention efforts. The Light House of Annapolis stepped up to help Indian Creek accomplish this goal. Indian Creek was excited to partner with The Light House shelter because we wanted an ongoing, personal relationship with an organization, where students of many ages would be able to contribute in developmentally appropriate ways that increase in involvement as the students grow. Our Lower School students are able to contribute packed lunches and personal items, raise funds, and decorate lunch bags with good wishes for the shelter residents. The Light House Shelter welcomes Indian Creek Middle School students to actively volunteer at the shelter twice a month, and allows our children to interact directly with volunteers and residents, making and serving lunches, filling gift baskets, and organizing the pantry. The Light House has been very gracious in providing the opportunity we sought for our students to have real life experience with other volunteers, allowing them to understand firsthand the importance of giving back to the community.
Over the years, students have shared that while they may drive by The Light House every day, they never noticed it before their Middle School visits. Not only did they not see the building, but they may not have seen the opportunities volunteering could provide them. As part of our Advisory curriculum, we want to introduce our students to the many rewards of service. Volunteering, giving back, is an amazing opportunity. Our hope is that through this experience, our students to develop a meaningful, lasting appreciation for service. We want to teach our students how rewarding it can be to give back -that just a couple hours a month, a few sandwiches, a few kind words, and a smile can change a life.
When forming this partnership, our hope was that our school community would commit to and grow with The Light House community and take on other projects. This has certainly been the case. Our Lower School participated in the “change for The Light House” collection; we support the B.E.S.T. program, using the catering services often, and our students have even conducted a variety of neighborhood collections independently of the school.
How long has Indian Creek volunteered with us?
Indian Creek has been volunteering at The Light House since 2009.
What do the students and teachers enjoy most about their volunteer time here?
“One of the hallmarks of an Indian Creek School education can be summed up by the operative mottos: Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?
Never are these themes so prevalent in the real lives of our children as when our advisory groups spend the day helping at The Light House of Annapolis. Students return to school after a day of helping their fellow humans with bright minds full of future wishes and anxious to share minds full of thoughtful memories and ideas. The two most common themes expressed around a communal lunch back at school are "care" and "kindness". Students are always willing to share the "truth" of their experience from the shelter, the power of their care and caring,combined with the welcome respect with which it was given and received. Kindness is the most commonly shared experience from The Light House. The overwhelmingly heartwarming feeling students express when they visit The Light House shelter is the power of kindness - staff interactions with residents, needful guests response to students, students abilities to embrace the philosophy and reflect that same kindness to others - is an experience of ideas into actions which makes priceless impressions on the lives of teenagers. The "necessity" of The Light House mission, the necessity of community support, the necessity of the equality of the human condition presented during ICS student's visits to the shelter have in fact helped create an awareness of the new necessities of the modern world in our next generation.”
- Brad Woodward, Middle School Humanities Teacher
“What I find special about The Light House shelter experience is that from that very first moment you walk through the doors you feel like you are part of the community. Everyone welcomes you and makes you feel comfortable. Another of my favorite things about The Light House is serving lunches, realizing I now have the ability to make someone feel as welcome as I feel, I adore being a part of the community.”
- Kendyl Underwood, ICS Class of 2020
“The Light House gives students an opportunity to work with residents and visitors to the program. Students develop empathy as they see firsthand how their efforts impact those in need. Many students remember the smiles of those they’ve helped. Teachers appreciate the opportunity to see their students to a new way.”
-Aaron Kleffman, Middle School Humanities teacher
Anything else you would like to share?
We look forward to continuing our partnership with The Light House of Annapolis for a long time. Working together to help today’s youth experience the benefits of service, and working towards the common goal of homeless prevention, compassion, and humanity.