Learning to Give

Community service is woven into the fabric of life at the Academy. Whether the experience takes place as part of the school curriculum or as an individual service project, students gain leadership skills that last a lifetime. Below is a round-up of some of the major activities that take place annually.

October – CATCH Fun Run
Each year students in grades 1-5 participate in the CATCH Fun Run. CATCH stands for Caring Athletes Team for Children’s and Henry Ford Hospitals. Due to the school’s continuing loyalty and commitment to the CATCH organization, several middle school students are traditionally asked to participate in the CATCH Night of Champions annual fundraising event. The students receive many compliments from attendees for their impressive performances.

“Every year we have participated, Jim Hughes, CATCH’s Executive Director, has come to cheer on our kids!” says Community Service Coordinator Sasha Murphy.

November – Clothing Drive
Part of the Middle School community service curriculum includes coordinating a clothing drive in November for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Every morning for several days, middle school students, along with Christian Life teacher Ellen Krease, greet parents and students at morning drop-off and offer to unload bags of gently used clothing from their cars.

Grosse Pointe Santa Parade
The Grosse Pointe Academy participates in the Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade the day after Thanksgiving. GPA has a strong showing each year, with many students and parents marching. Carrying the school banner, wearing Academy blue Santa hats, chanting “GPA!” and accompanied by the school mascot, the Bulldog, the Academy contingent demonstrates a lot of energy and school spirit to onlookers.

December – Chapel Giving
The month of December is filled with opportunities for students to learn about the gift of giving. Early and Lower School students fill baskets with mittens and hats; middle school students and faculty and staff adopt a family, donating toys, clothing and food to share the spirit of the holidays. This annual Christmas tradition allows the entire GPA community, from the three-year-olds to eighth graders, to gather in the Chapel with donations of canned goods, toiletries and other supplies provided by GPA families.

February – St. Paul Breakfast
Seventh graders participate in St. Paul’s program for the homeless by making fleece blankets and serving breakfast for two mornings in February. “This is a wonderful chance for the children to meet and care for individuals who are experiencing difficult times in their lives,” said Christian Life teacher Ellen Krease. “Hopefully this experience will help them develop compassion as they learn to see ‘the homeless’ as real people just like themselves.” The students prepare for the experience in Christian Life class. They also reflect on it after the fact by writing journal entries.

April – Earth Week
In keeping with its Michigan Green School designation, each spring the Academy embarks on an ambitious celebration of Earth Week. “This is a great opportunity for us to teach students what they can do to be green at home and here at school,” said Sasha Murphy, who spearheads the school’s green program.