Day of Service — and Discovery

Scarlett Chu, Campus Reporter

As an addition to the annual Day of Service which takes place every October, this year Kent School organized its first-ever Diversity Workshop for the 3rd Formers to participate in as well. In addition to the usual community service trips, the new workshop, organized by Mrs. Hall and other teachers, sought to enhance diversity and inclusion among our newest members of the community.

The workshop introduced the idea that we are all made up of personal and social identities. One’s social identity includes characteristics that affect how others interact with you, and you with others, such as race, gender, age, and more, while one’s personal identity are characteristics you would give yourself, such as traits, behaviors, beliefs, values, and other characteristics that make you who you are. 

The workshop worked in large groups with many interactive activities: during the Diversity Bingo, students had to use what they knew and ask one another questions to match students to descriptions on a worksheet, and they watched a movie called “Bibi”—a short film in which a Latinx son comes out to his father as gay through letters—while taking note of the identity characteristics of the characters. Six student helpers—Amida Akpan ‘21, Peter Chung ‘21, Ashley Grullon ‘21, Lexi Prior ‘21, Linnea Saxton ‘23, and Christina Zhang ‘23—also helped run the workshop and, as evident from Mrs. Hall’s high praise, made sure the activities ran smoothly. 

Although physical restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 limited the usual options for community service, Mrs. Sokolnicki, as has been for the past years, allowed students to sign up for these trips around the Kent community. The 3rd Formers planted greenery, baked pies, and attended a Hunger 101 workshop among other opportunities. 

Both sections of the event gave the option for remote students to join virtually through Zoom, and even though it was quite difficult to organize, many students enjoyed the activity and stayed engaged throughout the day. Yubin Hyung ‘24, who attended the Hunger 101 workshop, learned about SNAP—food stamps—and experienced what it was like to be in the shoes of starving children. She was also the apple trimmer and dicer for the pie-baking group later in the afternoon. “My back hurt a lot, but I was happy to contribute,” she says, “I was so thrilled to imagine the families in Kent enjoying their pies as one of their Thanksgiving baskets!”