Boarding and Day · Co-ed College Prep · Grades 6–12 & Postgraduate · Hebron, Maine

How to Build Empathy Through Community Service and Global Connections

How to Build Empathy Through Community Service and Global Connections
Emily Bonis- Dean of Faculty, Round Square Representative

Hebron Academy is fortunate to be a member of the Round Square network. Our membership has encouraged students to celebrate cultural diversity through events like film festivals and travel around the world. We welcome exchange students and encourage our student body to create shared experiences. Some of our most notable adventures include camping, hiking, and even cliff jumping. 

Internationalism, democracy, environmentalism, adventure, leadership, and service are the core IDEALS of Round Square. These concepts have always been intrinsic to our mission at Hebron Academy. Our role within the network lets us highlight these values on our campus and in our community. 

Since our beginning, service has shaped our students. The Round Square student committee enables students to participate in weekend service opportunities. Plus, we prompt our students to think deeply, creating global connections, raising their awareness, and building empathy.

Building Empathy Through Community Service

Performing community service has a clear effect on our students' empathy. Acts of service:

  • Promote connections between students and their larger community.

  • Develop character education.

  • Encourage students to think globally and act locally.

  • Provide an opportunity to get out in the world and do good.How Do We Build Empathy?

At Hebron Academy, we've learned how to build empathy with service. Our students have numerous opportunities to engage with individuals and groups to learn about the issues that affect our community. Let's take a closer look at some of the engaging ways our students volunteer. 

Scatter Good Farm and Growing to Give

Growing to Give is a grow-for-donation farming nonprofit that operates at Scatter Good Farm. Their work has a positive effect in the face of climate change and food insecurity. 

Our students volunteer on the farm. Their efforts assist Growing to Give in their mission to deliver organic produce to access sites like food pantries using climate-friendly farming practices. What's more, this work encourages our students to become more aware of food insecurity, climate change and other concerns that affect our community and our world. 

Trinity Jubilee

Trinity Jubilee offers various kinds of assistance for those in need. While the center provides groceries, shelter and career services, our students focus on age- and skill-appropriate tasks. Hebron students help out in the soup kitchen, interact with our community and tackle operational requests at the direction of the Trinity Jubilee team.

International Coastal Cleanup Day

The Ocean Conservancy encourages people around the world to participate in an annual International Coastal Cleanup Day. Our students enjoy the benefits of attending school on our expansive, rural campus, and we give back by cleaning up Maine's coasts. Beach cleanup is a crucial task, and it encourages students to think critically about the effects of how we use and dispose of our resources. 

Campus and Community Cleanups

Even when it's not a dedicated cleanup day, we strive to keep our community clean and healthy. Our students regularly pick up litter to beautify our campus and the surrounding area. After cleaning our campus — their home — Hebron students are even more mindful of how their actions affect others and the environment. 

Food Drives for Oxford Helping Hands Food Pantry

The Oxford Helping Hands Food Pantry is another nonprofit organization that combats food insecurity. Our students hold food drives to gather and donate resources for this access point. 

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree is a seasonal opportunity to bring joy to local individuals and families. Our students can go to our Giving Tree and choose tags belonging to anonymous members of our community, including children. These tags feature the recipient's age and any liked or needed items. 

Students gather these gifts, and we have them delivered before Christmas. The Giving Tree highlights need within our community when many students are already reflecting on gratitude. 

Empathetic Schooling at Hebron Academy

You can find an example of empathy in the classroom every day. Our faculty and staff strive to challenge our students, but we also practice compassion and provide support for our students and community. Explore our site to learn more about the opportunities we offer.   

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