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Spotlight on Community Partnership: Harmony Grove

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

It was just one year ago, in late August 2021, when “Woodrow Wilson Elementary School” in Framingham was renamed “Harmony Grove Elementary School - A Global Academy” after the historic park on the shores of nearby Farm Pond. Harmony Grove was a popular and important gathering place for leisure and fun, as well as a site for outdoor meetings and rallies against slavery and to support social and racial justice and women’s rights.

Harmony Grove is a vibrant and inspiring International Baccalaureate school, home to nearly 500 students in grades K-5. With a student body for which 83% of its students’ first language is Portuguese or Spanish, the faculty works hard to help students develop multilingual language skills that will lead to success in school and life. With a dedicated eye towards developing young people with admirable character traits and values, Harmony Grove learning experiences aim far beyond the walls of the classroom into the broader neighborhood and world.

For over two decades, Harmony Grove has been a partner with the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy (GBJCL), whereby GBJCL tutors would work 1:1 with students to give them a boost in developing reading skills and a love for reading. It was through the GBJCL that Harmony Grove developed a partnership with Volunteer Ventures to provide desks to students through the Desk Mates program. Harmony Grove Principal, Juliana Kessler Marcos, has welcomed the partnership and worked with her staff to get desks (for at home use) to any student and family that wants one. Thus far, Volunteer Ventures has provided 64 volunteer-built desks (with bookshelves and books!) for students with an eye towards providing new students with desks as they join the Harmony Grove community.

Volunteer Ventures is wholly grateful for the partnership with Principal Kessler Marcos and for the dedication and creative work she and her staff do every day to build the next generation of creators, critical thinkers and leaders at Harmony Grove. We are proud to play a part in Harmony Groves’ transformational and inspiring educational experiences for its students.

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