Community Service

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
—Mahatma Gandhi

The Community Service Learning program gives our students an opportunity to contribute their energies and talents to a wide variety of people and projects. Many aspects of life at Kildonan benefit from the enthusiastic work and support of student volunteers and work crews. In turn, students develop an increased sense of responsibility and leadership, improved self-esteem, and a better understanding of the complexities of a boarding school and the challenges of an adult world. The philosophy of the program emerges from the longstanding tradition at Kildonan through which the entire school gives back to the school community or the community at large in some way.

Community Service Opportunities

Eye to Eye

Eye to Eye is a national LD/ADHD movement dedicated to mentoring. Their vision is simple yet bold: to create a world in which people with LD/ADHD are fully accepted, valued, and respected—not just by society, but also by themselves.

On Community Service days, Kildonan’s Eye to Eye students travel to nearby Dover Elementary School to meet with a group of younger students who are labeled LD/ADHD. The activities take place in an art room format. A recent art project involved the mentors and mentees creating plaster casts of their hands, which are joined together in a creative way. The project represents the “permanent bond” the younger students make with their mentors. While the projects themselves provide enjoyment for the students, the artwork is intended to serve as a means by which the mentees gain empowerment. One younger student remarked to his parent, “Mom, I love Eye to Eye, because there are kids just like me!”

To learn more, visit Eye to Eye.

Kildonan Eye to Eye students also raise funds by selling donuts to support their annual trip to EdRev (Education Revolution) Conference held in San Francisco. EdRev is a unique day of information, resources, celebration and community for students who learn differently and the families and professionals who support them.

Audubon Sharon

Audubon Sharon, located in nearby Sharon, Connecticut, is an animal wildlife sanctuary dedicated to helping everyone learn about and enjoy the wonders of nature. Their mission is to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education, research, land conservation and advocacy. Kildonan students will learn about the importance of the environment and their natural surroundings, including meeting some of the rescued animals and their habitats, how to identify invasive plants, and maintain the many nature trails at Audubon Sharon.

Northeast Community Center

The Northeast Community Center is located in nearby Millerton, New York. The NECC seeks to build a healthy, caring, responsive and welcoming community for all who live and visit here. NECC acts as a catalyst for that community vision through its partnership with other organizations and by offering social, educational, recreational and cultural programs and services to help meet community needs. Kildonan students help local children with hands on activities like arts, crafts, and cooking.

Trail & Pond Maintenance

We are fortunate that our Kildonan campus has its own pond and miles of hiking, horseback riding, and mountain bike trails. Our students help to maintain and preserve our pond and trails, getting up close and personal with our surrounding campus throughout the changing seasons. Their efforts strengthen their bodies and minds, but the greatest benefit of maintaining and preserving our great outdoors is perhaps our impact on the environment. By connecting to nature, we instill in our students an ethic of conservation that can last for generations. As one generation after another acts to preserve this natural heritage, they contribute to the health of the plants and wildlife that depend on the woods and help to improve local air and water quality.

Campus Based Projects

Kildonan students take an active role in keeping our school and campus looking beautiful and well-maintained. Students can perform their Community Service on campus in various projects, including service in the Athletic Center maintaining and keeping inventory of the athletic equipment, refurbishing classrooms and furniture, and helping to maintain the horses and stables.

Learning Outcome

Kildonan students, through their engagement in Community Service, will:

  • Become more aware of their own strengths and areas for growth.
  • Undertake challenges that develop new skills.
  • Discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities.
  • Persevere in action.
  • Work collaboratively with others.
  • Develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism, and intercultural understanding.
  • Consider the ethical implications of their actions.