QUAKER LIFE AT GFS
At Gwynedd Friends School, we believe it is important to teach children that our actions impact others around us. Being mindful of how we live our lives helps us to become responsible citizens. Quakers believe that there are essential "testimonies" which guide our actions. One way to understand these testimonies is to use the following acronym: S.P.I.C.E.S.
- Simplicity - We celebrate the acts of kindness and generosity.
- Peace - We create an environment of working together.
- Integrity - We deal honestly with others.
- Community - We care for others in the community.
- Equality - We respect different people and different ideas.
- Stewardship - We protect and care for the earth.
Though our teachers weave the testimonies into their classroom environment throughout the year, we believe it is beneficial to explore each in depth. From November through April, our school will highlight one testimony at a time. Each teacher plans developmentally appropriate activities for the students and keeps families up to date on how the testimonies are presented to their child.
Once per week, the Preschool “Threes”, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten children participate in Meeting for Worship. This special time allows for our friends to come together in Gwynedd Friends Meeting’s historical Meetinghouse for 15 minutes to listen to a meaningful, child-friendly story and “pull down the silence” for quiet reflection. Afterthoughts in each classroom allows children the opportunity to share their thoughts during Worship.
We recognize the value in modeling service to others and living the Community testimony. Our Parents Serving the Community (PSC) meets on a monthly basis to plan service projects for our school community. A highlight of our school year is our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in January, which consists of smaller service projects for families to rotate through that are designed with young children in mind. Projects have included: making lasagna for families at Hope Gardens, making trail mix snack for children who attend Ambler Boys and Girls Club, and collecting gently used baby clothing for the Baby Bureau.