Week Without Walls celebrates 10 years of giving back

Midway through the 10th annual Week Without Walls, Trinity College School students and staff are already sharing stories of the wonderful moments made possible through service. Beginning on Tuesday, December 4th, students have had the opportunity to head into the local community, to make connections, to feel the sense of fulfilment that comes with giving back, and to have a lot of fun in the process!

Week Without Walls began in 2009 with the aim of providing students with a period dedicated to service learning. Each December since, all Senior School students and educational staff members, as well as many operational staff, have been welcomed at community partner sites throughout Northumberland, Durham, Quinte, Peterborough and Toronto, for a week of volunteer work. A decade ago, there were 35 community partners involved; this year, our students are serving at 65 different sites.

Students began this year’s Week Without Walls with planning sessions on November 29th and December 3rd. As well, the Ten Thousand Villages group hosted a fair trade sale on November 28th which drew many shoppers to Cirne Commons.

Amidst chilly weather, students joyfully boarded buses and taxis on December 4th, with a few even travelling on foot to nearby neighbours such as Extendicare and Empire Crossing. One group headed for a two-night stay at Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve near Haliburton. As they began to get involved with their service sites, students came back to campus full of energy and enthusiasm for the work they were doing and the people they had met.

As students wrap up their service sites on Thursday, December 6th, they are looking forward to Friday’s debriefing session. This will allow students to discuss their week and also look at future plans for how to continue the good work begun during Week Without Walls. They will also have the chance to hear from special guest speaker, Spencer West. Mr. West has been a featured speaker at many WE Day events in the past and our students are certain to be inspired by his personal story of perseverance and determination.

Throughout the week we have also heard feedback from our international service trips. Regular updates have been sent from Ecuador, where a group of students and faculty are involved in a school build project in partnership with ME to WE (read their updates at www.tcs.on.ca/ecuador). And we have had a few photos and emails from the group spending the week at Island School, Bahamas. They have shared photos of the work they are doing at the school as well as environmental service activities such as a beach clean-up and data collection on the local turtle population under the guidance of Cape Eleuthera Institute. These groups will return to Canada over the weekend of December 10th, and we can’t wait to hear more about their experiences.

Click on the links below for photos from the early days of Week Without Walls: