This 2020-2021 community text, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, will be used in support of our school theme of empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Between the World and Me is written as a letter from the author to his teenage son about being black in America. It pivots between personal and historical, focusing both on America’s racial history and current civil rights crisis. As we have seen again poignantly this spring, systemic racism in America devalues black lives. Racism diminishes, demoralizes, and dehumanizes. We hope to use this text and a series of programs to help Suffield’s students and faculty engage in the realities of systemic racism and help strengthen our community and the world.
The Suffield Academy faculty is comprised of 85 men and women, each of whom acts as an advisor to Academy students. An advisor’s role is to encourage and guide students throughout their Suffield journey. In addition to scheduled meetings, advisors host dinners, attend advisee sporting events, and offer overall encouragement during the school year. Advisors are also an important resource for parents and other faculty members.
Suffield’s commitment to sustaining a strong community is apparent in many school traditions. Students and faculty gather for family-style lunch each day. There is a school meeting every Monday where guest speakers address the community. There are also several annual events that help define the strong bonds on campus, including an Earth Day celebration, Alumni Leadership Day, and the Kent-Davis Public Speaking Contest.
An essential component of life at Suffield Academy is the internal community service program that we call the Work Program. The philosophy of the Work Program is to promote pride in the school, respect for others, and a sense of responsibility and leadership. Each term, students choose their role. These range from helping with dining services to the library to the admissions office or snack bar.
By taking on supportive roles throughout our community, Suffield students gain a sense of responsibility and set a positive example for others. Isabella Attianese [Student]
Suffield students are passionate about making a positive impact on the world. This philosophy lies at the heart of the school’s noted Leadership Program. In addition to this, Suffield students annually select a charity to support with a series of campus-wide fundraisers. Students nominate several organizations and a school-wide vote determines the recipient. The past few years have seen proceeds go to providing help to the following organizations: Hands for Hunger, TeamBrent, Akshaya Patra, Circle of Care, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Spouts of Water, Hearts of the Father Outreach, and many more.