Better Together: The Power of Community

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a community to raise a school. This past Saturday, we basked in the abundance of community as Parker families, faculty, and friends gathered together for our Community Work Day.
Community Work Day is an important event in the year of our school for one obvious reason: We get a LOT done! However, this day is also quite meaningful in the life of our school because it embodies and exemplifies the values we hold most dear: generations coming together in service, caring for each other and our world.
The importance of our Community Work Day cannot be understated. The hard work and effort our volunteers pour into clearing our trails, weeding and gardening, washing windows…even manually removing rock debris from our playground!…all goes towards ensuring that our students and faculty can maximize usage of our expansive 77-acre campus. This year’s Community Work Day was extra special in that we also launched several major projects, including clearing a site for our new yurt, readying a new student garden plot as part of an exciting grant initiative, and building a deck for our Explorers Workshop.
One particularly exciting service project to come from our Community Work Day was the installation of a brand new Little Free Library! The seedling for this idea began when a Parker family reached out to 1-2 teacher Debbie Hoffman and wondered “What if Parker had a Little Free Library for everyone to use?” Needless to say, everyone at Parker loved the idea. Debbie and Parker Librarian Laura Salisbury collaborated with administration to brainstorm, purchase, assemble, and ultimately install the library this past weekend. 
The concept of a Little Free Library embodies Parker’s values of community and sustainability. Our new Little Free Library joins a network of libraries across the country, encouraging our Parker community to connect with others through shared resources. The concept of the library is simple: Take a book; share a book. Our new library proudly marks the entrance to our beautiful demonstration gardens, a beckoning invitation to linger, enjoy, and imagine in this wholesome space. We warmly welcome all our families to visit our library, find a book that speaks to them, and/or leave a book that is special to your family for others to enjoy. We thoughtfully request that all donated books be age-appropriate for PreK-8th grade children.
Children learn best not by listening to what we say but by watching what we do. In this way, Community Work Day provides a powerful opportunity for our adults to lead by example, showing our children how thoughtful and invested community members take care of shared space and each other. Watching our students work alongside their grown-ups, it is clear that they are brimming with pride and confidence. Sharing the responsibility of work shows our children that we trust them, that they are important, and that we care about the things that matter to them.
Community Work Day stands as a living example of Parker’s mission to nurture confidence and community and cultivate purposeful action. We ended our day with immense gratitude for this opportunity to gather together and do the work our community does best — joining together to create an even more beautiful Parker.