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 try to center our lives on what is most important, limit distractions, and appreciate everyday joys.
Peace - We work for justice and learn how to resolve conflict without harming one another.
Integrity - We discern what is right and have the courage to do it.
Community - We value each person’s contribution to the community. We feel a sense of responsibility for and to each other.
Equality - We believe everyone has a Light Within and should be treated with love and concern.
Stewardship - We work to avoid waste and conserve resources because our world is precious.
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.