Members of Andover Community to Participate In Third Anual Non-Sibi Day This Saturday

Andover will celebrate its fourth annual Non Sibi Day this Saturday, October 2. Non Sibi Day is Andover’s annual day of service. Students, faculty and alumni from across the world join together to participate in a broad range of community service projects in efforts to emulate the school’s motto, “Non Sibi,” meaning “Not for Self.” Projects range from the Food Project, where students harvest and sort crops, to Boys and Girls Club where volunteers will collaborate with kids. Brad Silnutzer, Teaching Fellow in Community Service, said that projects associated with agriculture are the most popular among students this year. Silnutzer said, “The students like [farming projects] because they’re very hands-on.” “It’s important to show the community how much impact they can have. We hope that this will spark further interest in community service,” he added. Lorenzo Conte ’12, who participated in the Cor Unum Meal Serving project last year, is now a leader for the project. Conte said, “I liked it and went back throughout the year when service opportunities arose. I ended up back there around three times last year.” This year, there is a renewed focus on the reflective component of each project due to new faculty organizing. According to Liz Davisson, Acting Director of Community Service, some Non Sibi Day projects are “service learning projects.” Projects that focus on in-depth student reflection include Bread and Roses and the Food Project. Students that are involved in these projects will reflect on their impact on the community and the bigger picture of their service. Silnutzer expressed that the goal of Non Sibi Day is to “get the whole Andover community involved,” thus alumni activity is encouraged. Tom Beaton ’73, Michael Koehler ’94 and Murrey Nelson ’80 are coordinating alumni projects around the world. Koehler said, “If you don’t see a project that sparks your interest, or if you don’t see a project in your geographic area, we encourage you to lead one.” “The biggest challenge is inspiring alumni and parents to participate and finding ways to capture and share all of the fantastic work that alumni do every day in the tradition of Non Sibi,” Koehler continued. There has been an increase of over 300 Non Sibi Day alumni participants since 2007. “The first year of Non Sibi Day, approximately 1500 members of the Andover alumni and parent community participated. Last year, over 1800 people participated,” Koehler said. “To me, Non Sibi Day is a snapshot into the power of service and the variety of issues and organizations that work to make the world a better place. Hopefully, the day also serves as a catalyst for continued and meaningful involvement in one’s community,” Koehler said. One revamped Non Sibi Day project for this year is the Addison Gallery project. Julie Bernson, Addison Curator of Education, has coordinated a Non Sibi Day project involving art, dialogue, and students from both Lawrence High and Andover. Students from both schools come together for this Non Sibi Day event to collectively create a piece of art and have open discussion about different aspects of the theme. This year, Demetrius Lalanne ’11 posed the theme, “What is an American?” The coordinators decided to have the Addison project at the Essex Art Center because it gives the Phillips Academy participants the opportunity to leave campus and also allows Lawrence High students to be exposed to an amazing art center close to home. Benson said that this year she hopes to give all students the opportunity to keep in contact after the day is over. New ideas, such as creating a blog and making the art piece in one day, have already surfaced.