Key Ways Students Thrive When Their School Has a Community Focus

Helen Keller is credited with the famous saying, “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” This is a perfect analogy for a community. Whether we identify ourselves as such or not, we are all members of communities. We attend churches, and our children attend schools. We have jobs, join gyms, and live in cities and towns. Your children, the students at St. Barnabas Episcopal School, will, for the rest of their lives, be learning to operate effectively and productively as members of communities. Here at St. Barnabas, our private school community is the vehicle by which we provide excellent education and guide students to become strong, generous, and faithful adults.

When we put community as the focus of our organization, we teach our students and give them the skills they will need to live in communities in the future. But what does that mean? What skills can our private school teach your children about being effective community members?

The Value Of Caring For Others

If you believe in the trope that every man and woman is an island to themselves, how anyone else is doing won’t concern you much. After all, when you’re an island floating in the sea, the well-being of other islands hundreds of miles from you rarely impacts your life. However, suppose you think of yourself as a city or state connected to other people in your community by borders that touch and highways that pave paths between yourselves. In that case, it completely changes how you view your neighbor. It’s important to care for the people around us because we believe in the value of loving our neighbors. But caring for the people around us is also important because a rising tide raises all ships. When our neighbors are doing well, our whole community does well. When our students learn to operate in a community with one another, they experience the real-time benefits of living in service to their faith and the other people around them.

The Necessity Of Asking For Support 

Serving others is an integral part of the faith that we share, but what students at St. Barnabas learn is how to ask for support in the same way they’re willing to give support. In large learning environments, when students are a number in a sea of other students, it’s easy to hide away. But students in small, private schools like ours can’t slink into the shadows when things aren’t going well. Instead, they learn the essential, lifelong skill of asking for support when needed.

The Art Of Building Consensus

We live in a climate where politics and the media are determined to pit us against one another. It’s difficult to sustain that level of conflict when you operate in a community. Students in our community learn the art of building consensus. How do we work together on our science project or our school play to create the most authentic result that represents everyone at the table?

The Importance Of Investing In The Place You Call Home

Finally, our students learn how important it is to care for this place we call home together. They learn the value of belonging and inviting other people to belong. They learn to care for the city and the communities they are part of.

At St. Barnabas Episcopal School, our community is comprised of the students, faculty, and staff who come together on our campus five days a week to grow in their spiritual and educational lives. But it also includes our students’ parents, siblings, and grandparents. What you teach them at home becomes part of how they live and relate to the community we build on campus. Our community is an extension of yours. If you would like your students to join the community at St. Barnabas, please reach out as soon as possible. Our classes fill up quickly!

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