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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

Hartford high school students from Grow Hartford and LC students with a shared interest in food justice forged a partnership at a gathering on the Island in May for a dinner and discussion.
Author and history professor Jelani Cobb addressed an all-school audience in April 2015, putting recent racially-charged incidents in the United States into the broader context of the country's cyclical history of racial inequality.

A Mardi Gras feast hosted by the student-run Pelican Service Organization (PSO) on February 26 raised more than $1,500 for NicaPhoto, a grass-roots organization dedicated to helping break the cycle poverty in Nicaragua.

Filmmaker Melissa Donovan '81 attended an on-campus screening of her award-winning documentary Zemene on Monday and visited classes on Tuesday to talk with students about her work and the making of the film, which follows a young Ethiopian girl as she seeks treatment for a life-threatening curvature of her spine.

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."

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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