This year, Allen-Stevenson turned 138 years old on Founders Day, when the community celebrates the School’s birthday with shared activities and an alumni speaker. This year’s alumni speaker was Tim Maloney ’04.
On Friday, October 9, 2020, boys began this special occasion in their homerooms and advisories, and morning meetings focused on what a founder is and why we celebrate Founders Day. Middle Schoolers enjoyed competing with faculty and staff during a challenging Allen-Stevenson history Kahoots! quiz.
Next, Middle and Upper Schoolers joined Lower School sections to lead our younger boys in a fun social-emotional learning (SEL) activity on hearts, inspired by an A-S tradition: Hearts for Hearts. Alumni co-founders of Hearts for Hearts, Baylin Goldstein ‘21 and Luke Sarsfield ’21 returned to A-S virtually to educate our boys on the inspiration for this project.
Three years ago, a group of Allen-Stevenson students, including Baylin and Luke, came together to discuss how they could help people in the Carolinas and Puerto Rico after hurricanes swept through and devastated the regions. The boys decided to make and sell origami hearts to raise money for causes they felt would directly assist those in need and named their unique program Hearts for Hearts. Boys came together during Founders Day to fold hearts to sell.
This year, the activity was adapted to work virtually. Our older boys led a read-aloud of the book My Heart, by Corinna Luykenand maturely guided our younger boys through a discussion on hearts. When you see a heart, what do you think of? Did you know you can feel your own heart beating? Does how slow or fast the heart is beating give us clues as to how someone feels? After engaging in these candid discussions, boys made hearts in a myriad of ways, from drawing them on paper to cutting them out of construction paper to learning how to make an origami heart using a YouTube tutorial.
As in past years, Head of School David Trower opened by showing everyone Mr. Allen’s original desk from the School’s first year, when the enrollment was only three boys, and spoke on the history of our wonderful school.
During this speech, Mr. Maloney closed out the day’s activities by regaling us with fond memories from his time as a Unicorn and passing along sage words of advice to our boys. “There are lessons in every interaction you have with people. Keep learning, think outside the box a little, and be creative in how you experience things. Try to learn lessons that go beneath the surface and then try to apply these lessons elsewhere.”