On Wednesday, May 11, The McGillis School’s students, teachers, and community volunteers planted 41 trees, supporting the School’s purpose to inspire individuals committed and able to repair the world.
In partnership with TreeUtah, over 550 members of The McGillis School community, including 386 students, 50 teachers, and 120 volunteers, gathered for TREEkun Olam. This inaugural day of community service was a hands-on experience of planting trees that will immediately impact our local climate and community.
"TREEkun Olam is a meaningful way to honor The McGillis School’s 30th Anniversary, and we’re in constant awe of the dedication of our learners and our community in their commitment to repairing the world,” shared Jim Brewer, Head of School at The McGillis School. “Throughout the School’s history, McGillis has remained committed to our core values including Tikkun Olam, Kehilah, Gemilut Hasadim, and Tzedakah”.
With the generous support of parents, alumni parents, grandparents, alumni, and community partners, our current generation of McGillis students planted trees for future generations to enjoy. “Everyone in our community contributed to the success of TREEkun Olam and we collectively raised nearly $28,000,” expressed Jen Voros, Director of Philanthropy at The McGillis School. "Students donated dollars and coins through their classroom Tzedakah boxes. Parents, grandparents, alumni parents, and friends of the School made gifts of all sizes. The success of this project was truly thanks to the collective effort and investment of our Kehilah."
“Students and faculty from The McGillis School and community members from TreeUtah have gathered together today to make Ballpark’s Jefferson Park greener with 41 new trees! It is quite an undertaking. Stop by and cheer them on while they dig!”
In collaboration with Salt Lake City, TreeUtah has identified Jefferson Park as a park in need of trees. “TreeUtah is honored to plant trees with the families of The McGillis School in Jefferson Park. This large planting will cool off the park and entire neighborhood, as well as sequester carbon, filter the air, and add beauty for generations to come,” shared Amy May, Executive Director of TreeUtah.
I’m always so impressed with The McGillis School. This morning I got to be on hand as their whole school planted 41 trees at Jefferson Park for their Treekun Olam event! Shoutout to our amazing congregant Liz Paige for her incredible work in organizing this project and our congregant Karen Nielsen-Anson for the beautiful tree song performed by the second graders!" Rabbi Sam Spector (via Facebook)
Trees were planted by each of the School’s Family Groups; each group consisting of students from Kindergarten through 8th Grade. Participants expressed their hopes, wishes, and blessings for the tree, our community, and the world on slips of paper and planted with their group’s tree -- truly planting today for tomorrow’s generation. “Our students’ engagement in service learning promotes self-awareness and creates a sense of community by doing. The skills our students gain help develop future leaders better prepared to take initiative, think critically, and be engaged in solving the social and environmental challenges facing our world today,” stated Liz Paige, Director of Ethics & Community at The McGillis School.
I had such a fun morning with The McGillis School and TreeUtah at Jefferson Park. The students and parents raised money to purchase trees and the entire school came to plant them in the park today. I’m so humbled by the generosity of their community and grateful that they see the value in investing in the Ballpark Neighborhood and believe in our future as much as I do!”
Celebrating TREEkun Olam continued as part of The McGillis School’s Service Learning and Outdoor Environmental Education (OEE) programs. “At McGillis, we believe that learning extends beyond the four walls of the classroom. OEE offers students the opportunity to give real world application to academic lessons, as well as further develop their personal growth as individual learners,” shared Heidi MacNaughton, OEE Coordinator at The McGillis School.
We look forward to making TREEkun Olam an ongoing commitment to repair our world!
“Hundreds of volunteers plant trees in Salt Lake’s Jefferson Park” (KSL 5 TV, March 11, 2022)