Dear Benjamin School Community,
Before the school year draws to a close, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for making yet another school-wide community service project such an overwhelming success. This could not have been achieved without the commitment and involvement of so many.
The organization with which we liaised this year, The Palm Beach Habilitation Center, provides services to adults with developmental, physical, and emotional disabilities. It provides comprehensive services to over 700 individuals in Palm Beach County. The organization believes every individual can contribute to and improve society and that is truly what the PBHC clients did for the Benjamin school community. Through our involvement with them, we were the recipients of their unique and valuable contributions. The social interactions we enjoyed with them made this year’s project one to remember.
We especially enjoyed hosting our new friends from the PBHC at several events, including the Winter Music Festival in Benjamin Hall. In March, the 6th grade made and sent beautiful invitations for their performance in the Barker Center. Following the performance, the students and teachers hosted the PBHC clients and staff for lunch and presented every guest with a handmade card and lovely gift. The grand finale was a spirited dance hosted this month by upper school students and faculty. It had a Star Wars theme and our students and faculty went all out. It was a wonderful time of music, dancing, eating, and enjoying being together.
From our youngest WOW students to our seniors, the involvement with this project was robust. Students contributed art supplies and costumes and made some lovely Thanksgiving centerpieces, holiday wreaths, and Valentine tablecloths for the Hab Center. They also donated hundreds of games and puzzles. Students on both campuses spearheaded gently used clothing drives to help stock the PBHC Thrift Shop.
Significantly, we all had the opportunity to learn more about people with disabilities. Besides getting to spend time with some of the clients and enjoying their company, representatives from the Hab Center made themselves available to share with our students. Guests from the Hab Center and its Board of Trustees came into the WOW classrooms and spoke to students. The middle and upper divisions learned more about the Hab center and its clients at assemblies where they watched a video. A group of our alumni made a trip to the Hab Center for a tour and left feeling grateful and enriched by the experience.
Because community service is so much a part of the essential foundation of The Benjamin School, we were surprised by a special commendation from our recent FCIS accreditation visiting team for the fact that we participate, as a community, in a school-wide project each year. I wish each of you a wonderful summer and hope you take great satisfaction in knowing that, collectively, we continue to positively impact our community and, in so doing, enrich our own lives. Thank you for all you have done.
Director of Student Services PK3-8