November, Gratitude, Community

November: for some, the month conjures up thoughts of turkey and Thanksgiving food items, but also, a sense of gratitude and community. November is an ideal time of reflection, a time when we acknowledge everything for which we are grateful, and especially in this age, a  time suited to efforts to help those who have been hit by a variety of disasters.

At Catalina, students have been hard at work raising money, collecting clothes and food, and spreading awareness about a multitude of subjects. This past November, Sherwood collected enough food to serve forty girls for a tea that Mrs. Duncan arranged, where each student was given a bag made by Mrs. Schippers’ 2nd grade class from Lower School. When asked what the importance of Catalina’s work with Sherwood was, Mrs. Duncan animatedly replied, “I have always felt giving back to others is important. As soon as I connected with the Family Resource Center and Sherwood School, I knew it would be a great match for both sides. Doing service where you are forming relationships makes the service so much more meaningful and personal. There is a strong mutual bond with the girls on both sides. The Sherwood girls look for their special friends from SC to return each time.” The amazing Catalina-Sherwood team is continuing to work hard and already planning future events, including an art-history-themed event, an art show with tea, a trip to the zoo, and an actor’s workshop. If you want to get involved, the next trip to the Family Resource Center at Sherwood will be on December 1st, where girls will be making felt gingerbread decorations with students for the holidays, and they will also be giving students books to read over vacation.

Four families from Sherwood will also be sponsored for Christmas, and on December 2nd a shopping trip from 10-2 is planned for anyone who would like to join and buy gifts for these families. On Friday, December 8th from 2:40-4:00, a wrapping party will be held in the dining room to prepare the gifts for these families.

R4 has also been hard at work with their harvest week, encouraging students to reuse and recycle, to not waste items such as napkins, plates, and eating utensils, and overall to respect our beautiful Earth.

Lastly, Catalina’s Parent Association has teamed up with the Upper School and the Lower and Middle Schools to collect gently used jackets, new shirts, and new socks for the 136 students and six teachers who are currently in critical housing from Santa Rosa High School. Donations will be accepted in the Lower and Middle School Office, Upper School Office, Study Hall, and the dorms until December 8th. When asked to describe in one word what service and spreading awareness about a multitude of subjects means to them this year two girls answered “responsibility” and “education.”

The constant persistence to spread awareness and provide service to those in need has been overwhelming in the Upper School thanks to the dedication and passion of our teachers and fellow sisters.