1/19/2011 – Towson, MD – Calvert Hall has partnered with the Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKIDS program since November 2010 by sending juniors and seniors to Lockerman-Bundy Elementary School to volunteer as tutors and mentors each Tuesday after school. Under Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop’s leadership and direction, the BSO offers this exciting education initiative that provides social and learning opportunities for Baltimore City youth. The initiative is inspired by El Sistema, the Venezuelan orchestral training program that has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children over the last thirty years. OrchKids is committed to positively transforming the lives of Baltimore City children in significant and unique ways and becoming a model for similar programs throughout Baltimore and beyond. The experience has gained popularity among Calvert Hall students who help the young students develop reading, writing, math and life skills.

On January 28, 2011, students from Calvert Hall will participate in the Polar Bear Plunge’s Frigid Friday Cool Schools Challenge at Sandy Point State Park. The challenge kicks off the 15th Annual Plungefest, an event sponsored by the Maryland State Police to benefit Special Olympics Maryland. Over 1500 school aged plungers from Maryland schools participated in the 1st Annual Frigid Friday Plunge in 2010. This year, Calvert Hall’s team, The Red C, will consist of 40 plungers who have each raised the minimum $50 needed to participate. Calvert Hall team captains, Devin Seidel, Andrew Tsakalas and Ben Weise produced a video about the plunge that was shown to the student body and additional donations were collected at the cash registers in the school’s dining hall. Seidel’s involvement has significant meaning because his brother who has autism regularly participates in Special Olympics. Click here for more information about the plunge.

Calvert Hall has built a relationship with the De La Salle Blackfeet School, a middle school at the heart of the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, MT. Each year Calvert Hall sends 11 students and two teachers to the reservation to tutor at the school, which is run by the same order of Christian Brothers who run Calvert Hall. While on the reservation, students learn about life in the 21st century for the Blackfeet tribe, see presentations on Blackfeet spirituality and economics and learn about the issues the reservation faces in terms of poverty, abuse and alcoholism. While the trip is about service to a population in need and learning about the Blackfeet culture, it’s also about students learning more about themselves. Through intense reflections each night, students evaluate their own lives, strengths and weaknesses through the things they are experiencing on the reservation. Students keep an online blog that allows them to share their experiences with their family, friends, and school community throughout the week. This blog takes readers into their daily experiences and reflections, which often challenge all of us to be better in our own lives. This trip is a unique experience for the students, but also provides an opportunity through the blog for others to learn and grow. The group will fly from Baltimore to Spokane, WA on February 4th before traveling by overnight train to the reservation. They will spend the week working the Christian Brothers’ Community, tutoring students, touring the reservation and snow shoeing in Glacier National Park at the end of the week. Click here for Calvert Hall’s website and to track the blog