Tower School embraces the value of a diverse, multicultural, and cohesive school community. Cultural competency brings multiple perspectives to our environment; it cultivates the exchange and the challenge of new ideas; it honors varied traditions and cultures; and it teaches, in conjunction with our academic curriculum, the humanistic skills necessary for functioning ethically and effectively in our community and in our increasingly complex, global society. This is carried out in many ways at Tower, from classroom-based activities, to field trips, to the faculty-organized TED group, to the biennial Global Gathering. In addition, the curriculum, regardless of the discipline, fosters the development of cultural competence for our students.
Here is just a sampling of initiatives related to fostering cultural competency in our students:
Cradles to Crayons: Each trimester a group of fifth grade students are in charge of running a supply drive for Cradles to Crayons, a non-profit, local organization that “equips homeless and in-need children with the basic essentials they need to feel safe, warm, ready to learn and valued." At the end of each trimester the entire fifth grade goes to the Cradles to Crayons facility to deliver the collected goods and provide two hours of service. The visit this fall entailed cleaning and organizing the shoe and toy area.
Knitting Club: The Knitting Club includes both Lower and Upper School students as well as interested faculty. Some students knitted squares for a blanket for the organization Knitting For Angels, while others made "comfort squares" for the Hospice of the North Shore. These soft squares are placed in a basket in the chapel at the hospice house in Danvers, and anyone who seeks comfort and solace there is able to take one.
My Brother's Table: On the first Wednesday of every month, Tower students, along with teacher and parent volunteers, offer their services at My Brother's Table. Each fall, eighth graders prepare a meal for the soup kitchen, often using herbs harvested in the school's Teaching Garden. Goals include serving those in need, learning to grow plants, harvest and cook as well as encouraging a wide group of volunteers to participate.
Soles4Souls: This is a project benefits needy people in the United States and abroad. The sixth grade runs a shoe drive to collect shoes of all types and sizes. This spring, students and faculty travel to Honduras to distribute the shoes to an orphanage there.
Harrington Readers: Students travel each Friday during their study hall and lunch to the Harrington School in Lynn. Each week the group meets with a different first grade class and spends the time reading and doing activities. Books are read both in English and Spanish.
Global Gathering: This is a family evening of good food, festivities, and enrichment. This year's theme focuses on the food, music, culture and dance of Central and South America and the Caribbean.