The 13th Week Without Walls took place December 4-8, 2023
From December 4-8, 2023, Trinity College School students and staff took part in the 13th Week Without Walls service learning initiative. Every Senior School student and faculty member, along with several staff members, spent the week volunteering with one of nearly 70 service sites in support of our community partners, or taking part in one of our international service trips: Panama or the Island School.
Week Without Walls is a program through which students engage in community service opportunities, taking service learning outside the classroom and helping students to embrace their potential to make a difference. Initiated in 2009, the annual Week Without Walls is part of the School's comprehensive service learning program, which supports our mission of “developing habits of the heart and mind for a life of purpose and service.” It complements other projects such as: our annual community service days, work with organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Coats for Kids and more, but has the added benefit of allowing students to “learn by doing” within their communities.
2023 Week Without Walls: Relive the experience!
One of the most meaningful experiences of the year at Trinity College School wrapped up as we looked back on the 13th Week Without Walls. Following two planning sessions and three days of service, Senior School students and staff had the chance to take part in a debriefing and celebration on Friday, December 8th.
Week Without Walls is a unique program that sees every Senior School student and educational staff member, as well as several operational staff members, work on projects that support our local community partners in the Northumberland, Durham, Quinte and Peterborough/Kawartha regions. This year, nearly 70 volunteer opportunities were available for students, across a wide range of needs, including animal welfare, environmental organizations, charity & fair trade stores, seniors’ residences, schools, child & youth organizations, libraries, shelters, food banks, housing builds and so much more.
On Friday, each of the groups met one last time to talk about their experiences over the week. This was followed by a celebratory event in Cirne Commons, which included special guest speaker Sandy Hudson (co-founder BLM Canada, activist & podcaster) who shared that when it comes to serving your community, each of us plays a role, noting that “we are the ones we have been waiting for.” Sandy encouraged students to take the lessons they had learned through their week of service and share them with others. “It is important to teach other people. We want these community commitments to continue beyond us.”
Then, students enjoyed the Week Without Walls video, created by a group of their peers, and featuring video and photo highlights from throughout the week. It was a moment to reflect on the many community partners who welcomed our students and staff, the friendships made and the greater understanding created of the challenges and successes experienced every day by those working to make our local communities better places to live and learn.
In conjunction with Week Without Walls, two international service trips were held, taking students to the Island School in Eleuthera, Bahamas and to Guadalupe, Panama. As the Island School group wrapped up its week of learning at this sustainable institution, they took time to volunteer at One Eleuthera Foundation farm, learning about agriculture on the islands. In Panama, students worked hard to complete a mural project at the school in Guadalupe, but also took time to enjoy learning about local culture and spending time with the young students there. Both groups headed back to Canada over the weekend.
All of these experiences, internationally and closer to home, provide a chance for students to understand the joy of giving back, the empowerment of making a difference even in the smallest way, and the value of building strong connections with those working in our local community. Thank you to everyone who supported this special week!
Click on the links below for stories and photos from the 13th Week Without Walls:
- Week Without Walls: Share in our service learning journey!
- Week Without Walls: The joy of building community
- Island School travellers experience service in the sun
- Building lifelong memories in Panama