Kent School Among Nation’s First Schools to Join Harvard’s Making Caring Common Project

Tricia Cammerzell
Kent School is among the nation’s first schools and the only Preschool through Grade 8 school in Maryland to join a new national campaign to mobilize middle and high schools to prepare young people to be constructive community members and citizens who create a better world. Led by Harvard’s Making Caring Common project, the Caring Schools #CommonGood campaign aims to motivate schools to take action to help mend our country’s fractures and strengthen democracy.
“It is an exciting honor to partner with the Harvard Graduate School of Education and to be an early leader in Making Caring Common.” said Nancy Mugele, Head of School at Kent School. “As we work each day to fulfill our mission to foster the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world, intentionally teaching empathy strategies within our community is essential. We are fortunate to be among a global network of 135 independent schools who see this as a transformative teaching and learning opportunity. Within this global reach Kent School is one of fewer than 20 middle schools to be an early leader.”

The campaign seeks to advance the following specific goals by working with schools nationwide:
1. Deepen students’ care for others and their communities;
2. Increase equity and access for all students in the college admissions process; and
3. Reduce excessive achievement pressure in communities where it is detrimental to students.

These goals align with and build on Making Caring Common’s successful Turning the Tide initiative that has engaged more than 175 college admissions offices nationwide.

“Our country is at a crossroads,” said Dr. Richard Weissbourd, Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Faculty Director of the Making Caring Common project. “We need to mobilize the great strengths of Americans to prepare young people to build strong, inclusive communities and to protect democracy. This work has perhaps never been more important.”

To join the campaign, schools commit to taking substantial, meaningful action to advance one or more of the campaign’s goals and to engage in a self-assessment or evaluation process to measure the impact of their action(s). Schools that commit to, implement, and evaluate the impact of their efforts will earn a special designation from Making Caring Common.

Kent School was one of more than 135 schools that joined the campaign as “early leaders” who helped to inform, shape, and build momentum for the campaign. According to Mugele, “Kent School is committed to enhancing our Middle School Advisory program with empathy strategies lessons to counter some issues we have had with social media and students being unkind online. We are just beginning this work. For us, it is a commitment to teaching our students to be kind, be empathetic and be their authentic selves online.” Mugele continued, “For our parents, we will offer a Parent Forum to give them strategies to help their sons and daughters understand the effects of their actions online. We will shine a light on the ‘anonymous’ world of texting by giving parents the tools to monitor online activity and help use it for good connections and conversations. Kent School recently created a Social Media Policy which our students endorsed to be kind, caring and helpful to friends and classmates online and to think how your words might effect someone else - positively or negatively - before posting. Being a part of Making Caring Common helps us frame this work around building empathy in a meaningful way for our students.” This work will be led by Michelle Duke, Assistant Head of School for Academics, and Kent School’s team of Middle School advisors and teachers.

As part of the launch, Kent School today is joining other early leaders on Facebook and Twitter using the Caring Schools #CommonGood hashtag to express support for the campaign, publicly commit to a chosen action(s), and encourage schools nationwide to join the effort. New schools interested in joining the campaign are encouraged to share a photo and use the text “Count us in! We’re joining the Caring Schools #CommonGood campaign.” on Facebook and Twitter on March 6.

More information about how schools, parents, and students can join the campaign can be found at

About Kent School Located in historic Chestertown, MD, Kent School serves boys and girls from Preschool through Grade 8 on its scenic campus on the bank of the Chester River. Kent School's mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world.

About Making Caring Common Making Caring Common (MCC), a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, helps educators, parents, and communities raise children who are caring, responsible to their communities, and committed to justice.

Facebook: Making Caring Common
Twitter: @MCCHarvardEd