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Norton Family Center for the Common Good

Exploring and practicing "the best self and the common good."

The Norton Family Center for the Common Good encourages in students an expanded understanding of their roles as citizens in a diverse democracy and fosters an active, engaged approach to citizenship in our global society. Providing programs, resources and support in classroom and extra-curricular experiences, the Center inspires students to identify, create, and sustain ideas and actions on behalf of the common good in local-to-global contexts. The Center’s curricular and community activities support the school’s mission which exhorts Loomis Chaffee students to serve “the best self and the common good.”

Throughout the year, freshmen participate in the CCG Freshman Seminars, often co-facilitated by upperclassmen. School-wide Dialogues in the Common Good center on themes drawn from school, local, national, or world issues, while bi-weekly class meetings feature Talks in the Common Good, personal narratives or position statements which illuminate the theme of “the common good.”

The Center for Common Good also actively supports and collaborates with Community Service, the Community Work Program, the Center for Global Studies, and the emerging Agriculture Program.

The Norton Center for the Common Good enjoys the good counsel and enthusiastic support of a Faculty Advisory Board as well as a Student Committee in the Common Good. Meet the directors.

Recent Dialogues, Freshman Seminars, and Other Programs

The Norton Family Center for the Common Good and the student organization PRISM (People Rising In Support of Multiculturalism) co-sponsored a Dialogue in the Common Good this week regarding the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. Loomis Chaffee students, faculty, and staff members filled Founders Lounge to share their views and discuss the implications for our greater community.

Scott MacClintic ’82, instructor of microbiology and director of the Kravis Center for Excellence in Teaching, is presenting an engaging lesson in Freshman Seminars this month titled, “Study Smarter – Not Harder.”

Each week, sixteen students- four each from the sophomore and junior classes and eight seniors- meet in the Center to plan and follow through on special projects across the school.
This June, the Center for Global Studies and the Center for Common Good are partnering to send Loomis Chaffee students to South Africa to learn about the country's dynamic cultural identity and its complex historical past.
On October 15 there will be an all-school Dialogue regarding the contemporary dance scene promises to span much more than "dance rules" here on the Island.
The Loomis Chaffee Pledge Book now resides in the Norton Family Center for the Common Good, but its core tenets of "living with integrity" and "championing a respectful culture" describe our lives on the Island and beyond.
This fall, the Freshman Seminars have introduced the idea of being better able to serve a common good through first attending to one's own successful establishment within - and one's discovery of - the larger community here on the Island.
This summer's dramatic events on local, national, and world stages have sparked excellent early "Hot Topics" openings in our seminars.
On February 7, in his Talk in the Common Good, Michael Carter '15 delivered an extraordinarily thoughtful and insightful speech regarding the effects of social media on personal identity and community norms.
On May 7, The Center for Common Good welcomed teachers, administrators, and students for an in-depth discussion on the process of teaching and learning.

CCG Events

9/11 - Dialogue on Ferguson, co-sponsored by PRISM

 - Westminster Teaching Symposium
Learning in Service: Theory and Practice - Al Freihofer presented the work of The Norton Center to attendees gathered for the purpose of sharing best practices in service learning and social engagement. Video

10/3 - Talks in the Common Good 

10/15 - Community Service Day
The CCG will host 15 students in a day-long exploration of the power of advocacy through research, analysis, fashioning a position statement, and initiating action.  

10/15 -  CCG Dialogue in the Common Good: The Dance Culture at Loomis Chaffee

10/17 -  Parents’ Weekend: Center for the Common Good Open House

10/31 - Talks in the Common Good

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