Community is so important to us that we made IT our middle name.
WE BELIEVE THAT OUR SCHOOL’S STRENGTH IS SHOWN BY ITS CONNECTION WITH THE COMMUNITY AROUND IT.
Helping the community also helps our students---it develops leadership qualities, shapes social awareness, and generates civic responsibility. Students volunteer in local, national, and international activities. The school organizes service projects in many areas of interest throughout the year, and it participates in the following volunteer projects on an ongoing basis:
INDIVIDUALS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND OUR STUDENTS WALK THE WALK. LEARNING AT GWCS IS MUCH MORE THAN BOOKS AND STUDYING, IT'S ABOUT GAINING AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN AND MAKING OUR OWN CONTRIBUTION.
Ronald McDonald House
Each month, a GWCS parent volunteer and a few GWCS students help the Northern Virginia Ronald McDonald House create a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children admitted at the Fairfax INOVA Hospital. Students cook dinner for families who live too far away from the hospital to return home each night.
CERT Victim Actors and Training
"What do you do if, during a major disaster, you call 9-1-1 and no one responds?
The Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program prepares regular citizens to safely help themselves, their families, and their communities during major emergencies where first responders are delayed."
GWCS students participate as Victim Actors to assist CERT training. In 2015-16 twelve GWCS students became CERT Level I certified after 21 hours of training in addition to practice exercises.
Invasive Plant Removal
English ivy is slowly killing other plant life in natural areas, including Fairfax County parks. Volunteering for the Fairfax County Park Authority, GWCS students are helping to reverse the damage in Annandale's King's Park and Wilburdale Park by pulling ivy off trees and uprooting it from ground areas. This is the ultimate hands-on project. These students' efforts to preserve the health of the park demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility.
Earth Sangha is a Buddhist environmental nonprofit organization committed to practical environmental action that is informed with the Buddhist principles of nonviolence, tolerance, self-awareness, and compassion for other living things. "Sangha" is the Buddhist term for community. GWCS partnered with Earth Sangha in the winter of 2005 and have been tangling with Wilburdale's jungle of invasive alien plants ever since. Wilburdale Park, Annandale VA (Map)
Entrance Directions: On Backlick Road, pass the usual entrance on Wilburdale Lane and go to the next street (north) called Byrnelly Road. It's an obscure street name and obscure street. Turn left on Byrnelly Road.. The site is at the end of the street. Park at the end of the street.
Cystic Fibrosis Walk-A-Thon
Rain or shine - the GWCS community, including teachers, students, parents, siblings and friends, participate in the annual Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis walk-a-thon to raise money for CF research and care.
McKenna's WAGON Sandwich Making
Several times each year, GWCS students, parents, and staff take some time out to make sandwiches for McKenna’s Wagon, a mobile “soup kitchen” serving the homeless population in Washington, D.C.
Friends of Accotink Creek
GWCS enjoys working with Friends of Accotink Creek to improve the health of this vital piece of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Friends of Accotink Creek is a volunteer organization restoring Accotink Creek to enhance enjoyment of biking, fishing, jogging, walking and bird watching along a major portion of the Cross County Trail. GWCS creek cleanups are scheduled regularly. Click Here to see more on GW's recent clean-up project.