Three years ago, Calvert School first sent a bus full of 60 Eighth Graders to jump into the Chesapeake Bay. In the middle of January! Not even as a punishment! Since then, the school’s participation in Special Olympics Maryland’s Cool Schools Plunge has grown exponentially.
Calvert’s involvement in the Cool Schools Plunge was a natural fit. Since the inception of its middle school 16 years ago, Calvert has sought ways to instill leadership through community partnership. This concept of civic engagement is a key tenet of the school’s newly launched Institute for Leadership & Purpose at Calvert School, an initiative reaffirming Calvert’s mission to build leaders for tomorrow, today. What better way than to band middle schoolers together for a fun (but frigid!) morning to benefit a Maryland institution. In the school’s three years of participation, the community has rallied around the effort, not only plunging, but raising awareness and funds to support Special Olympic Maryland’s mission of “providing year-round training and competition to those with intellectual disabilities, so that they may develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy.” This year, Calvert expanded its participation by partnering with neighboring St. Elizabeth School. Together, students from Calvert and St. Elizabeth submerged themselves in the winter waters, cheered together on the beaches of Sandy Point, and made connections that went beyond the event itself. This was all inspired by a Calvert student who sought to make an impact for his older sister.