After a year’s experience with the Deerfield Academy Perspectives Program (DAPP), a student work program formerly known as the Green and White Program, Assistant Dean of Students Amie Creagh said there were no major problems that surfaced during its trial. A few minor issues, however, have emerged this year.
In assigning tasks to student workers, Ms. Creagh had a difficulty making sure that each department involved enough workers while trying to accommodate all student’s work requests.
Soon after the assignments began, some students questioned the involvement of their peers in the mailroom. It made them uncomfortable that sophomores were distributing their personal mails. As soon as this came to Ms. Creagh’s attention, the task of delivering personal mails, such as graded assignments, immediately returned to staff.
It was also difficult to establish rhythm or momentum with the new assignments this term due to spring second visit days. Many supervisors contacted student volunteers to let them know that they wouldn’t start working until a few weeks later.
Despite these issues, DAPP is still seen as a valuable program. The survey sent out to participants after the trial term last year returned primarily positive responses. Students enjoyed their experience and thought it should be continued in the future.
Laddie Trees ’11 helped out with gardening and trash pickup last spring. “I was not looking forward to giving up a free,” but after the first few times, the task became much more enjoyable. “I found out that a lot more happens than I thought to make our school look as good as it does.”
Although students do make small contributions to the community, “the program was something new, which made me feel like I was really contributing to the school’s ability to function,” said Anna Gonzales ’12 about her experience at the ITS.
Ms. Creagh is adamant about sticking to the DAPP’s mission: to create and strengthen relationships between students and staff by getting students to help around campus. “Strong human connections are what allow a school to run smoothly,” she said.