11th Annual Week Without Walls: Making a difference through sustained action

As Trinity College School students and staff wrapped up the 11th annual Week Without Walls on Friday, December 6th, there was a sense that in many ways the journey had just begun. Following three afternoons of service in our local and surrounding communities, participants were energized and ready to consider how they could, on an ongoing basis, commit to making a difference.

Between December 2nd and 5th, every Senior School student and education staff member, along with several operational staff members, served at one of about 70 different community partner sites in Northumberland, Durham, Toronto, Peterborough and Quinte regions. Groups took care of animals, sang songs and made crafts with local seniors, sorted food bank donations, helped build homes for families, organized and stocked shelves, cleared brush and fallen trees, fixed bikes, played games with children and so much more.

Then, on Friday, each group met one last time here on campus to discuss what they had gained from the week and also what future plans students had for giving back. At the core of Week Without Walls, and the broader service learning program at TCS, is instilling good habits and skills that will carry through for students long after the week is over, such as teamwork, problem-solving, empathy, resilience, commitment and communication. This message dovetailed beautifully with Friday’s special guest speaker, Sam Demma. At just 20 years old, Sam has committed himself to doing good and inspiring others. His message to students was to look for “small, consistent actions” that they could take to address an area of need. Sam had to find his own sense of purpose after an injury ended his dreams of playing soccer at university. A teacher passed on the idea that, through sustained action over a period of time, one person could effect significant change, and Sam applied this to starting up his own social enterprise. For our students, hearing this message from someone in their own age group was especially powerful.

The Week Without Walls officially wrapped up on the weekend, when our two international service trips – to Ecuador and the Island School – returned to Canada.

You can relive the entire Week Without Walls experience by clicking on the links below: