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Community Engagement Program

Rooted in Maret’s Essential Skills, our Community Engagement program empowers and prepares our students to effect positive, transformative change in their communities.

Key Tenets of Community Engagement at Maret

Through a variety of experiential and service programs, students explore issues of equity and develop the skills needed for compassionate, respectful, and equitable relationships across difference. Maret’s program challenges the traditional service model with intentional, reciprocal relationships that create challenging and meaningful engagement for our students. The following principles guide our work with students and partners.

Respect and Reciprocity

The organizations with which we partner work with Maret to co-create information and knowledge and co-lead activities that strengthen our communities. As a result, Maret students gain as much as they give.


Our most successful programs foster long-term relationships among students, educators, and local non-profit leaders with the aim of addressing social problems in our region. The alliances with other organizations create challenging yet safe spaces for students to cultivate community and individual connections, to succeed, to fail, and to develop compassion, empathy, and caring.


Throughout their time at Maret, students have multiple opportunities to reflect on their community engagement and how it relates to broader issues of justice. They are reminded that our lives are intertwined with others in our community: we have a responsibility to each other, and there are tangible steps we can take to listen to, learn from, and help our neighbors in the DC metro area.

Programming by Division

Work off campus is supported by a developmentally appropriate, in-class curriculum that helps students understand the structural issues that create the need for these important community organizations.

Maret Environmental Spirit Week

Lower School

Lower School students engage in their wider community in a variety of ways. Each grade level partners with an organization. The work is age-appropriate and connects to their curriculum. Recent partners have included Martha’s Table/McKenna’s Wagon, A Wider Circle, the Klingle Valley Trail/Tregaron Conservancy, PetConnect Rescue, and local community gardens.

In addition, lower schoolers send candy and handwritten letters to Operation Gratitude, which prepares care packages for troops around the world. During the annual MLK Week of Service, students learn about King’s legacy and work to build a Beloved Community. Cross-divisional opportunities also exist for lower school students to help support the clients of local organizations, including Thrive DC, Bread for the City, and Horizons Greater Washington.

Older student reading to younger student

Middle School

The middle school community engagement program is integrated into the academic and advising curricula. These are some of our recent programs; projects change from year to year.

Maret Community Service Day

Upper School

In the Upper School, students participate in a mix of co-curricular service-learning programs and community service. Students engage with local organizations to fulfill their graduation requirement of 30 hours of community service.

Upper school teachers can also choose to incorporate work with a local organization into their academic courses to give students the curricular grounding for meaningful service engagements.

Our Longstanding Partners

We are grateful for our community partners!

Martha’s Table • A Wider Circle • DC Central Kitchen • The Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Center • National Coalition for the Homeless • Capital Area Food Bank • Claggett Farm •  Food and Friends • Bread for the City • Father McKenna Center • Central Union Mission • Thrive DC • Catholic Charities • S.O.M.E. • Anacostia Watershed • Whitman Walker Health