Tabor students lend a hand, engage community

Jan 18, 2019

MARION — With smiles stamped on their faces, and medals sparkling around their necks, the Special Olympics athletes ran between lines of cheering Tabor Academy students offering high-fives and hugs. 

Tabor Academy’s students set out on Wednesday with a mission to engage with the communities on the South Coast, offering their help maintaining nature trails, reading to elementary students, and providing technical support to locals. 

Tabor’s first morning of service of the school year took place on Jan. 16. Nearly half of the students were on campus coaching and supporting young athletes in the Special Olympics of Massachusetts’ School Day Games.

This winter’s event featured Special Olympics participants from along the South Coast, including teams from Dartmouth, Wareham, New Bedford and the tri-town.

Tabor students played alongside the visiting athletes in several games, including football, volleyball, and relay races.

“It’s so much fun watching the athletes get so excited about it and have so much fun,” said history teacher Emily Kaplan, a resident of Marion. “With our students helping out and diving into it, everyone is having a blast.”

“I could do this all day,” said Drew Tanzosh, a the chair of the Science department at Tabor who was participating in his first day of service. 

With the School Day Games in full swing, other faculty members and students boarded buses to clear walking trails with the Sippican Lands Trust and the Buzzards Bay Coalition. 

Others stayed closer to campus and stopped in at Sippican School, working on science and reading projects. In New Bedford, 40 Tabor students acted as reading partners for first grade classrooms.

“It’s really fun to have our kids all around town,” said Kerry Saltonstall, Tabor’s director of communications. “That’s the point of this day, it’s to try and provide some help in the community.”

Other students offered drop-in tech help for residents at the Charles Hayden Library on campus. Bourne and Falmouth also benefited from Tabor’s service day, with students volunteering with local organizations there as well.

“I always love this day,” said Saltonstall. “It really gets out kids engaged in the community and they learn how it feels to volunteer.”