George School’s co-op program is where you’ll discover the social and philosophical benefits of washing dishes or cleaning classrooms. You scoff. But it’s true.
The co-op program has its roots in the 1940’s when a senior noticed that only students receiving financial aid did “work duty”. Believing this was in conflict with core Quaker values, a small group began a cooperative program to bridge the socio-economic gap by voluntarily taking on work duty roles as well.
The spirit of this commitment lives on in the daily work students do around campus. We have grown to understand that being invested in something together is not only easier, it’s more rewarding.
Co-op serves a practical purpose as well. Students get work experience. The school saves money. And then the money goes full circle (philosophically!) back to financial aid.
So, here are the nuts and bolts: You’ll spend 60-90 minutes per week, maybe cleaning lab ware, maybe rounding up recycling. Some people help in the IT office or the children’s center, some go full circle and give tours of prospective students. Even being a prefect (and working on your leadership skills!) counts as co-op work. Everybody gets a turn in the dining room. You can get a new assignment each year, or, depending on schedules (yours) and needs (the school’s), keep the same one all four years.