by Viraj Shankar
Last week, from Pre-K all the way up to the 12th grade, OES participated in a day of service. People went all over the community, helping in different ways whenever and wherever they could. I had some time to talk with Kara Tambellini, our service learning coordinator, about how she handled organizing this day for the first time, and what she hopes to do with Mount Hood Climb Service Day in the future.
Did you go to a location during MHCSD? If so, which one?
No, I had to be on campus. I was running all of the behind the scenes, making sure everything was going well.
What were your hopes and goals for MHCSD this year?
My hope was really to get students to create their own goals and engage with the larger community. I really hoped that this day gave students new opportunities, and, like OES often says, use their power for good, and see what it feels like to be an active participant in their community.
This is your first year as Service Learning coordinator. What are the challenges you have had to face while preparing for this day?
For me, I feel that the biggest challenge was being able to visualize the big picture, and all the logistics of how the day was going to work out. I had a lot of people that helped see the whole thing. In particular, Tna helped a lot with the transportation; Ashley Scates ‘18 and John von Barren also helped me a lot in this process. Really, lots of people who knew how to handle one aspect of that day helped walk me through it, and having help in general made it a much better experience for me.
Do you feel that MHCSD was a success this year?
[A] big success this year. I was really proud of how many students led service learning group’s this year, it was higher than usual. Particular moments, small things, like a lower school teacher who complimented a senior who was working with children, made the day so much better. I felt everyone was really present and helpful, and everyone was just in the moment, taking advantage of their time.
What do you hope to do in the future to make this day even better?
A couple of things; First of all, I love Mount Hood Climb Service Day, and I would really like to explore more opportunities for our community, and have it more concentrated into OES. One way to do this, is bringing service into the academic classroom, and really just using service as a way to demonstrate understanding of a course. Service can always be a part of student learning. For example, a SRP, could sometimes be adapted into being a service project as well. Projects like these could really could benefit the larger community, and provide more opportunity to the student body in general.
What have you learned during the process of preparing for this day?
I have learned the value and beauty of SPREADSHEETS!
I hope everyone had a great MHCSD this year!