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Dana Hall School shows commitment to service

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Dana Hall School shows commitment to service

Dana Hall School eighth graders spent a day sorting and cleaning clothes and toys at the Cradles to Crayons warehouse in Brighton.

Dana Hall School eighth graders spent a day sorting and cleaning clothes and toys at the Cradles to Crayons warehouse in Brighton.

Since it was founded in 1881, Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Mass., has had a tradition of service to others. Whether they were visiting children in the wards of the New England Peabody Home for Crippled Children at the turn of the 20th century or doing Red Cross work during the World Wars, Dana students have always demonstrated a resolve to make an impact on the world that surrounds them.

In honor of the School’s 130th year in 2011, Head of School Caroline Erisman instituted a new tradition of Amor Caritas Day. Amor Caritas is the School’s motto, which translates to love and caring. In its inaugural year, Amor Caritas Day celebrated Dana Hall’s long tradition of service and connected students, alumnae, parents, faculty and staff through community projects.

On May 15, 2011 Dana Hall students, faculty, staff and parents participated in a service project organized by City Year in Boston. Despite some spring rain showers, more than 200 members of the Dana Hall community spent the day painting interiors, building planters, making signs and landscaping and improving a playground and garden at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester.

In addition to the Boston project, Dana Hall alumnae organized their own Amor Caritas Day tasks in their cities and towns. Projects in Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Vermont were led by alumnae on or after May 15. Alumnae service projects range from cleaning Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., to participating in the American Brain Tumor Association’s 5K walk in Chicago, Ill. Amor Caritas Day 2012 is scheduled for May 13.

As an independent boarding and day school for girls in grades 6-12, Dana Hall School places emphasis on excellence in academics, the arts and athletics, and is committed to instilling the values of integrity, leadership, diversity and service in its students.

Among the graduation requirements is a minimum of 20 hours of community service. Recent service partnerships have included local organizations such as Cradles to Crayons, Best Buddies, Nutrition Works, City Year, Greater Boston Food Bank, A Place to Turn and Christmas in the City. In addition, Dana Hall students raise awareness and funds for people in crisis all over the world including supporting those individuals who experienced devastation from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan; holding a car wash to support the Red Cross and honor the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks; participating in a walk to raise money for breast cancer research; funding schools in Zimbabwe; or increasing humanitarian efforts in Darfur. These projects unite the Dana community, demonstrate the determination of today’s Dana students to make an impact on the world that surrounds them and carry on the traditions the School’s founders began more than 130 years ago.