The Stories Behind 'More Good News'

By Olivia Hayward, Web Manager, May 2020

Over quarantine, John Krasinski has been spreading happy vibes by hosting a YouTube show called “Some Good News,” highlighting positivity and togetherness. Inspired by Kraskinski’s initiative, Nobles’ newest community service initiative, “More Good News,” was born.

Despite being away from campus, the Community Service Core worked together virtually to brainstorm ways in which students and faculty could continue serving others. Catie Asnis (Class II), one of several leaders on the service core, put it simply: “The Community Service Club mission is the same, but the ways in which we serve has changed.” Their brainstorm yielded a wide range of fun service opportunities open to the whole school.

Credit: Sammy Walkey

One of the opportunities open to Nobles students is volunteering to help with the Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI)’s recently launched online academy. A number of Nobles students have begun tutoring students via Zoom and helping them with academic and/or creative tasks.

Joyce Huang (Class II), a longtime IFSI volunteer, came up with the idea and helped launch the Khan Academy platform for the IFSI students to work with from home, in addition to being tutored by Nobles students. Currently, Huang meets with three students per week –– a 2nd grader, a 3rd grader, and a 5th grader –– and works with them for 45 minutes twice a week. She loves interacting with the kids and remarked on her experience, “The kids are very enthusiastic and always bring a positive energy. It’s volunteer work, but it's also fun.”

Asnis is also an IFSI tutor and has been volunteering since middle school. She currently tutors two brothers back to back and spends three hours a week helping them with their homework, honing their math skills, and reading online Dr. Seuss books. Like Huang, Asnis finds that their demeanors and positive attitudes never fail to brighten her days. She said, “Even online, their personalities come through.”

On a different note, Drew Barry (Class I), Finn Harrington (Class I), Alex Abdelal (Class II), and Tommy Kantrowitz (Class II) have been spearheading another one of the service projects, called “Friendly Phone Calls.” All four students are the leaders of Nobles’ Golden Dawg Club, which works to forge multigenerational relationships between Nobles students and local senior citizens in Dedham. While students can no longer physically interact with the senior citizens due to the pandemic, Barry and Harrington pioneered a new system in which volunteers call seniors and make conversation anywhere from a half-hour to an hour every week. The initiative has already paired nearly 40 student volunteers with senior citizens. Abdelal shared that even though everything has turned virtual, he actually feels “more connected to the community and to Nobles.”

Nobles students and faculty have been staying connected and serving others, a practice ingrained in our school’s mission. If you’re interested in tutoring a student from IFSI, building a bond with a senior citizen, or eager to learn about more service opportunities, click HERE. And remember, service doesn’t have to stop with the end of school!

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