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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 4:21 pm | Fair 63º


Marymount Students Come Together for ‘Community Day’

Fanning out over Marymount of Santa Barbara’s picturesque 10-acre campus on the Riviera, Marymount students gathered in groups to celebrate the school’s unique community. As a part of “Community Day,” groups of eight to 10, made up of students from junior kindergarten through eighth grade, worked together to construct towers, to play field games, to plant seeds and to sing.

Bearing in mind the theme of the day, “A single leaf working alone provides no shade,” students encouraged one another, cheered for one another and collaborated to solve problems and overcome challenges.

In recognition of Earth Day, the students’ activities used recycled materials and taught environmental awareness. The activities were intentionally designed to provide students with opportunities to use the skills focused on in Marymount’s character program H.E.A.R.T. (Honesty, Enthusiasm, Altruism, Respect/Responsibility and Teamwork,) as well as 21st Century skills such as creativity, critical thinking and communication.

Students vied for the most “leaves” by completing activities with the goal of coming together at the end of the day to “build” a tree together. To get rewarded with a leaf, the activities had to be done in a way that exemplified the attributes of the HEART program and Marymount community spirit.

In addition to excellent academics, a robust athletic program and individualized attention to students, Marymount’s community is often talked about as being a positive influence and aspect of the school for which current students, parents and alumni are grateful.

“While every school has its own culture and community, Marymount’s community is incredible,” said a parent of a first-grade boy invited to watch the students’ Community Day activities. “Look at how happy these children are and how they work together.“

A March C.A.I.S. (California Association of Independent Schools) accreditation visit revealed the same. The visiting team, made up of five individuals employed by different independent schools across the state, spent a week at Marymount observing classes, meeting with faculty, trustees and administrators and observing students in all aspects of their daily lives at school. The team repeatedly reported on Marymount’s student culture and community as exemplary.

Marymount’s Community Day celebrates a community deserving celebration. An art show of student “Nature Houses” concluded the day. Constructed out of natural, scavenged materials, the Nature Houses displayed student creativity, love of nature and internal sense of wonder. Many of the “houses” were built out of collected leaves and plants, demonstrating perfectly how “leaves working together” offer shade or shelter. It was a perfect metaphor for the work the students had done that day to make their community an even stronger one.

Marymount is an independent co-educational school, junior kindergarten through eighth grade, on a picturesque 10-acre campus nestled on the Santa Barbara Riviera. Building on a 75-year tradition of excellence, the educators at Marymount have crafted a unique learning experience that blends mastery of core subjects with acquisition of the essential skills students need to navigate and be successful in a rapidly evolving world.

— Molly Seguel is the admissions director for Marymount of Santa Barbara.

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