Home phone-number
Delphian School - Home The Delphian School Program and Study Method The Delphian School Campus Blog Contact The Delphian School


Introducing the Serafina Early Learning Center

In case you missed it, the Delphian School recently opened a new facility for our youngest learners: the Serafina Early Learning Center.

The Serafina Early Learning Center is not a part of the Lower School. With a nursery and toddler play area, it caters to even younger learners — preparing them for a bright future ahead at the Lower School or wherever they choose to continue their education.

A licensed child care center for inquiring young minds

The Serafina Early Learning Center is a child care center licensed by the state of Oregon. It’s a daycare center, not a residential school, though of course it’s located on a partially residential campus.

The center is located in the sunny west staff area of campus, surrounded by newly planted trees. It features comfort and learning amenities for very young children and toddlers alike:

  • A state-of-the-art nursery with a quiet nap area, changing station, and play mat
  • A multipurpose play and learning room with a snack area, learning centers, and indoor play facilities
  • An outdoor sandbox and toddler-friendly play structure
  • A covered outdoor play area that allows outdoor time even during inclement weather
  • A striking yet functional bell tower that chimes to celebrate graduates moving up to the Lower School

Built from love and generosity

The Serafina Early Learning Center would have remained an ambitious vision had it not been for the generosity of Shon and Ariel Holyfield, whose gift made the project possible. They provided crucial funding for the project in honor of their recently departed family member, Melissa McPhail Holyfield.

McPhail Holyfield was a Delphian alumna and staff member known and beloved for her book series, A Pattern of Shadow and Light. The name for the center, in fact, comes from her work. And the center itself celebrates one of McPhail Holyfield’s greatest achievements, in her telling: her graduation from the Delphian School.

An opening ceremony to remember

The Serafina Early Learning Center made its debut at Parents Weekend 2023, early this past June.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, donor Shon Holyfield gave remarks to a who’s who of Delphian School luminaries, including Head of School Trevor Ott, Lower Dean Judi Glenski, President of Applied Scholastics International Christine Gerson, chairman of the board Dave Hendry, and members of the Holyfield, Emrani, and Colaianni-Tuttle families.

Holyfield gave a fond remembrance of McPhail Holyfield and her time at the Delphian School.

“With the support of alumni and parents,” he said, “it is my hope that Serafina will be just one of many exciting new facilities to help Delphian accomplish its educational mission.”

“We hereby dedicate this building in honor of Melissa and the shared love we all have for Delphian and the youngest members of our Delphian community.”

Toward an optimistic future — together

As Holyfield so touchingly remarked, the Serafina Early Learning Center is a vote of confidence in the future of the Delphian School. It’s a sign that we believe in our ability to continue the work of empowering future generations of students to lead in a flawed world.

We need all the help we can get. As Head of School Trevor Ott remarked at Parents Weekend 2023, not far from the Serafina Early Learning Center:

“Still, we need to do more. We need to have more students. We need to be full. We need to graduate more students at a higher level of self-determinism each year. And we need to get more truth out in the world to assist them in lifting the fog.”

It’s a heavy lift, to be sure. But we can do it — together.

Want to know more about the Serafina Early Learning Center? We recently wrote up its ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Delphian Magazine.

Commencement with Rob Adams: Overview and Highlights

If you’re old enough that the name “Atari” rings a bell, congratulations. You’re also probably old enough to be a parent of a Delphian graduate.

If you’re not yet the parent of a Delphian graduate, or your Delphian graduate left our embrace years ago, you might have missed this past year’s graduation ceremony. Don’t feel bad — but know that it was certainly one to remember.

One of the many highlights was Rob Adams, a Delphian parent who has led teams in the video gaming industry for going on 30 years. His first professional role was with Atari in the 1990s, back when it and other boxy arcade games were losing ground to smaller console-based competitors (which are now, themselves, all but obsolete).

Adams is also a Delphian parent, and it was with evident pride that he took the stage to deliver the commencement address. After admonishing graduates to “always evaluate advice carefully” — then drawing laughs with the quip “that’s also advice,” he delivered some bite-size bits of wisdom accumulated during his decades of leadership and service.

Here’s what he told them.


During his final year at the Delphian School, Adams interned at a graphic design company. He had an amazing experience learning the craft of stereoscopic printing, a painstaking, labor-intensive, and very expensive process that produced great results.

Adams recalled noticing a single employee working on a computer in the back. She was learning a brand-new program called Photoshop, trying to figure out if it could help the company design cheaper, faster, and better.

You can imagine what happened next. Adam checked in a few years later and discovered that the entire team he’d worked with had been laid off, replaced by a nimbler team of digital graphic designers.


That led Adams to his next point, that successful people tend to be lifelong students. Of his old colleagues, only those who correctly saw where the industry was headed — and who were nimble enough and bold enough to retool their own skills — remained employed.


Adams spent a lot of time talking about how Delphian graduates could pay it forward. They’d be “leaders wherever [they] went,” as he put it. But with great power comes great responsibility, in this case a duty and obligation to mentor others and help them reach their own full potential.


Adams defined servant leadership as “leadership style that prioritizes the growth, well-being, and empowerment of your team.”

It’s distinct from the hard-driving style that Adams admitted practicing earlier in his career — a style that gets results until it doesn’t, as he put it. Only over time did Adams realize that it was his leadership approach that needed changing. He implored graduates to chart a different course from the beginning.


Adams challenged graduates to give their (future) teams the space to fail, which he said is an essential foundation for breakthrough innovation. He pointed to the “failure” of a SpaceX test launch earlier in 2023, when the SpaceX team was mocked on social media for cheering when its rocket exploded soon after taking off. They cheered because they knew they’d learn something — many things, actually — from the experience.


Adams advised graduates not to turn their backs on their alma mater. Not only is it a truly special place, it remains an important part of many alumni’s social and professional networks.


On that note, Adams reminded his audience that their network is closely tied to their net worth. Real connections, rather than transactional encounters, offer boundless opportunity.


It wouldn’t be a commencement speech without this bit of closing advice. But Adams was serious: He believed in each and every 2023 grad’s power to change the world for the better.

And with that, he let them get on with it.

Honoring Our Class of 2023 Graduates

Each year, we send a new group of leaders out into the world, eager to shape the future. And we couldn’t be prouder of this year’s Delphian School graduates — all 21 of them.

Let’s take a moment to briefly acknowledge a few of them and honor their achievements so far. If you’re interested in learning more, please read the full write-up in Delphian Magazine.

India Goodman

Hailing from Barbados, Ms. Goodman credits the Delphian School for its unique approach to leadership development in primary and secondary school. As she puts it, Delphian “teaches you how to study, how to think for yourself, how to be a leader, and how to be responsible for your own life. These valuable life skills aren’t commonly taught in high school.”

Brianna Solomon

Ms. Solomon came to the Delphian School from San Jose, California, as a self-described “shy girl” who “no longer saw beauty in the things I was surrounded by.” She leaves as a self-possessed young woman who has “grow[n] in more ways than I could have ever imagined.”

Portia Binford

Ms. Binford, an Alaska native, discovered a multitude of new skills and talents at Delphian, both inside and outside of the classroom. She learned sign language and Braille, excelled on the running track, and even discovered how to genetically engineer jellyfish to make them glow!

Evans Bi

Evans Bi came all the way from Shanghai, sure he’d have no fun studying at Delphian. Boy, was he ever wrong. He graduates as someone convinced of “the importance of responsibility and time management,” eager to make his mark on the world.

Bow Chansuk

Delphian’s approach to education is very different from the Thai schools where Bow Chansuk spent her formative years — they were all about good grades and passing exams. “The most important thing in my education at Delphian was my understanding and application of what I’d learned,” she says. “This realization totally changed my outlook and approach toward my entire education.”

Mila Anderson

Like Evans Bi, Mila Anderson credits Delphian with teaching her the importance of time management and self-direction. By the conclusion of Form 8, she says, “I was able to complete what would have taken me months before.”

Satcher Nu

Satcher Nu’s love for basketball only grew during his time at Delphian — as did his gratitude for the mother who worked so hard to help him achieve his dreams on and off the court. He leaves “ready to move on and really start my life.”

Remy Kugler

Remy Kugler came to Delphian as a shy boy who’d “bend to others’ will no matter the inconvenience it caused me.” That’s not the case today, thanks to Delphian’s unique study technology. He’s self-possessed, strong-willed, and ready to make his mark on the world.

Saachi Mann

Saachi Mann is the last member of his family (at least, the current generation) to pass through Delphian. Acknowledging the “power and the energy of the school,” he leaves eager to “create his future” in an uncertain world.

Robin Stoner

Like many of his peers, Robin Stoner gained an immense amount of self-possession and self-respect during his time at Delphian. Drawing strength from new and old classics like 1984 and Plato’s Republic, he now believes in his ability to “conquer” wherever he goes.

Elijah Ward

Like many newer Delphian students, Elijah Ward saw the school’s study technology as a “trick” to enforce arbitrary academic objectives. His view changed as he realized that it’s in fact a valuable “tool” to get more from students and prepare them for the leadership roles they’ll be expected to take on in the future.

Sofia Del Francia

Florida native Sofia Del Francia learned many valuable lessons at Delphian. One of the most important, in her words, came from learning “about the hardships people have experienced when their rights are revoked and their integrity is tested.” She continues: “I learned that I must always adhere to what I believe is right and never allow others’ viewpoints to become superior to my own.”

Harmonizing Development: The Multifaceted Benefits of Music Education for Children

Did you play a musical instrument as a youngster?

Even if you don’t play any longer, you probably have fond memories of the experience. Playing an instrument — and that includes singing, because your voice is an instrument! — is an amazing creative outlet.

That’s not all it is. We’re only just beginning to understand the many benefits of playing music, but we already know enough to say that musical education should be a cornerstone of primary and secondary school curriculum.

And so it is at the Delphian School. Follow along as we review the key benefits of music education as we understand them (the “why” behind our music program) and what students can expect when they enroll (the “how”).

Accelerated Brain Development in Younger Children

Studies show that music education promotes brain development in younger children. The benefits show up as early as infancy and toddlerhood. Babies exposed to a variety of musical instruments and styles tend to be more inquisitive and better regulated in their behavior.

The brain-boosting benefits of music education don’t end once kids begin speaking in complete sentences — or reading. The Save the Music Foundation notes that “reading music can improve general reading comprehension skills overall,” setting kids up for success outside the concert hall.

Enhanced Language Acquisition

There’s something to the idea that music is a “universal language.” That’s usually meant to highlight that music is really a branch of mathematics, a fundamental “shared reality” in the way that vernacular languages like English and Spanish aren’t.

But as the Save the Music Foundation reminds us, music can be “language” in an even more literal sense. After all, most people who play music well also read music well. And that capability, which often develops at a very young age, spills over into vernacular language acquisition too. To take advantage of this close connection, the Delphian School offers music education to all our students, including the very youngest at the Lower School.

Improved Self-Confidence & Self-Awareness

Music is a skill like any other. It can be learned, honed, mastered, and forgotten. That cycle — well, at least until you get to the “forgotten” part, which only happens if you allow yourself to get out of practice — instills confidence in people who play.

The effect is more noticeable in children, who are better able to acquire new skills and tend to get more gratification from the learning process. Kids who commit to learning to sing or play an instrument gain lifelong “soft” skills in self-confidence and self-awareness.

Improved “Soft Skill” Development

Those aren’t the only soft skills music education helps develop. Kids who sing and play music hone a variety of lifelong capabilities at the individual and group level:

  • Self-discipline: No matter how talented you are, if you want to play well, you have to practice. This habit translates to any skill or discipline that demands consistent practice (which is most skills or disciplines, if you think about it).
  • Problem-solving: Musicians encounter problems all the time, from tricky pieces of music to unfamiliar playing techniques on a new instrument. These problems don’t always have obvious solutions. But learning how to solve them is like crossing a threshold: once you’ve done it once, you can do it again in similar situations.
  • Working well within groups: The Delphian School’s choir groups are a great example of what can go right when musicians work well within a group. And in general, any successful group performance requires effective teamwork.

Expanded Cultural & Social Horizons

Coming back to the fact that music is a “universal language,” music education is often younger learners’ first contact with cultures beyond their own. It’s also a window into different places and times; classical musicians like Mozart and Beethoven lived in very different worlds, after all.

By opening kids’ eyes to the world beyond their own lived experience, music education instills qualities that will serve them well into adulthood: curiosity, perspective, tolerance. That’s definitely worthy of celebration.

Beyond Academics: Why Every Student Should Participate in School Organizations

Did you play a musical instrument as a youngster?

Lawyers like to joke that they learn everything in law school except how to be a lawyer.

That’s not meant as a slight against lawyers. Many professions are the same way. Employers in these fields might require a college or even graduate degree, but they don’t expect entry-level hires to know everything about the job on day one. On-the-job training is part of the bargain.

Why require a degree at all? Because there are a lot future professionals need to know before they’re ready to put all the pieces together in a real-world job, for one. And, more importantly, because a rigorous and well-rounded academic program ensures those future professionals know how to think when the stakes are higher.

At the Delphian School, we believe our unique academic program does an excellent job of teaching future leaders how to think. But we’re also big believers in giving our students a head start on the more practical aspects of professional life. That’s why we require participation in school clubs and organizations that most schools consider “extracurricular” and treat as strictly optional.

Here’s how we think about the benefits of robust extracurricular programming.

More Opportunities for Teamwork & Belonging

Among the many benefits of extracurricular activities spotlighted by the U.S. Department of Education, “a sense of belonging” stands out.

Although the situation is different at the Delphian School thanks to our unique curriculum and classroom experience, it’s simply a fact of life that kids don’t always feel seen or appreciated in “traditional” educational settings. It’s a very different story in extracurricular settings where students work more closely together toward shared goals: on the playing field, in the theater, or on the debate stage.

A sense of belonging is crucial for effective teamwork. Teammates who feel like they don’t belong on the pitch or stage may not give their all. Here at the Delphian School, our extracurricular programming — and the fact that participation is obligatory — is designed to help students find their place and create a set of shared experiences that serve them well for years to come.

New & Different Leadership Pathways

Leaders often emerge in team and group settings, of course. That’s expected and encouraged at the Delphian School, even as our faculty and staff work to help each child realize their full potential inside and outside the classroom.

We take “full potential” very seriously. Successful leaders are as diverse as those they lead, and trying to fit each one into the same box is counterproductive at best. Robust and varied extracurricular programming, and the freedom to choose opportunities within that variety, expands rather than restricts the possibilities for leadership development.

Chances to Learn Skills &; Concepts Not Taught in Class

The Delphian School is renowned for a far-ranging educational program that helps students master fundamental and secondary concepts while gaining lifelong skills along the way. Our extracurricular programming builds on this by exposing participants to new ideas, activities, and capabilities that they might not encounter in the classroom. Many of our students find their true passions on athletic teams, in choir, or as part of one of the many other student organizations we offer.

Constructive “After Hours” Activity

This is an important one for parents, who have every right to worry how their children spend their time outside the classroom while away at school. Our obligatory extracurricular programming provides some reassurance that students aren’t going straight from the classroom to the residence hall to spend the remainder of the day isolated in front of a screen.

“Professional Social” Skills (Networking) Development

Finally, group extracurricular activities (including athletics) foster professional skills that students can use in whatever career they choose to pursue. They’re able to practice a mix of “professional” interactions in structured settings and more informal social activity during periods of downtime or transition (like the ride to an away game). Some argue that networking skills can’t be taught, but our observations of extracurricular life at the Delphian School lead us to disagree.

The Balanced Weekend: Combining Fun, Learning, and Relaxation for Students

Everybody needs some time off. That’s why we break up the workweek: five days on, two days off. Working all day, every day, is a recipe for burnout and diminished output.

Yet we can be grateful for weekends while still thinking critically about their drawbacks. These come in two seemingly oppositional flavors.

On the one hand, many of us use weekends to fulfill as many obligations (real or perceived) outside our core academic or professional responsibilities. That leads to wildly overscheduled weekend calendars that leave us little if any real downtime to rest and reflect.

On the other hand, some of us treat weekends as strictly off-limits for anything resembling constructive activity. The intention here is good — after all, it’s important to rest and reflect — but what often ends up happening in practice is an avoidance of social or personal responsibility. We binge on video games or screen time or simply spend hours on end behind closed doors, not interacting or doing much else of value.

There’s no perfect balance between these two extremes, but clearly there’s a broad, happy middle to be had. At least, that’s how we see it at the Delphian School, and why we offer a rich array of student and community activities outside classroom hours.

The Importance of a Balanced Weekend

A balanced weekend — but not an overscheduled one — has benefits beyond the obvious. Research suggests that young people who spend their weekends on a mix of enriching and relaxing activities enjoy reap rewards like:

  • Openness to new experiences: Our weekend programming is richly varied and ever-evolving. We’ll get into the details below, but for now, let’s just say it’s designed to get students outside their comfort zones and open to new experiences.
  • Global (and local) perspective: Weekends aren’t long enough for a trip across the ocean, but that’s OK. Closer-to-home weekend activities like volunteering in the community or traveling to the nearest big city (in our case, Portland) provide valuable perspective too.
  • Skill development: Students learn new skills all the time in the classroom and in extracurricular settings before or after class on weekdays. But the weekend offers longer stretches of time for students to really dive into new experiences and hone skills that they might otherwise lack the time for.
  • Finding new passions: Hone a new skill and you might just find a new passion. Many of our students use weekends to develop hobbies or lay the groundwork for a future career.
  • Stronger group dynamics: Students at the Delphian School begin their weekends on Friday night with a large-group activity, such as a Friday Night Performance (a popular part of our music program) or a group activity in the rec room. These activities bring students together in non-classroom settings, creating opportunities to form tighter bonds and improve teamwork.

Weekends at the Delphian School

So, what can Delphian School students (and parents) expect from weekends here? A typical Friday-to-Sunday period might include:

  • A large-group Friday night activity, including our always-fun Friday Night Performances or a special theater group performance
  • Saturday afternoon/evening large-group activities like a bonfire, capture the flag, or community service trip nearby
  • Opportunities to participate in a variety of student organizations and clubs: robotics club, coding club, cooking club, glee club, writing club, game design club, (outer) space club, even D&D club!
  • Day trips to the beach or forest preserves nearby
  • Overnight trips organized by the student council — we have several of these each year and they’re always amazing, from skiing and snowboarding on Mount Hood to camping and hiking trips along Oregon’s beautiful, rugged coast

Sounds fun, right?

Memory Project 2023: Using Art to Spread International Kindness & Understanding

Memories are what make us human, and the memories we form during our school years are often quite significant: this is when we learn who we are, and develop the skills and strengths that will serve us well throughout our lives.

At Delphian, which is renowned for offering students a unique, experiential learning environment, our children thrive on deep involvement. So our art students were especially excited to participate in The Memory Project, which allowed them to share their hearts with Nigerian children, many of whom do not have parents or other guardians to care for them.

Making Memories Makes Meaning

A University of Wisconsin graduate, Ben Schumaker, created The Memory Project because he was passionate about promoting cultural understanding and kindness among young people around the world, using art as the medium to connect them.

Inspired by Ben's vision, in 2023 fourteen Delphian School art students brought their creative hands and open hearts to the program, using their talents to craft both digital and handmade portraits of children in Nigerian orphanages. The art students sent the original art to the children in Nigeria as a gesture of love and friendship, and kept copies of their work to remember the faces of their friends on the other side of the world.

Art From The Heart

While Delphian's robust fine arts program regularly produces award-winning pieces, there's something special about art from the heart that catalyzes connection and joy, as The Memory Project's immense success illustrates. Over the past 20 years, 320,000 students from 57 countries have put themselves in another's shoes through art.

Ben's original intent with The Memory Project, launched when he was a student himself, was to provide personal portraits for children growing up in orphanages, who did not have many keepsakes from their earliest years. He wanted the portraits to honor each child's unique identity and personal story.

As time went on, The Memory Project began focusing on children in other kinds of challenging life situations as well, such as those facing war, neglect, and poverty. But the overarching goal has always been to create cross-cultural connection and understanding that nurtures both the art creators and recipients.

Today, The Memory Project works with partner charities in many countries that send in thousands of photos annually of children who would cherish a personal portrait from an art student.

Identity Is Who We Are

What if a student wants to contribute to this kindness initiative but doesn't have any portrait skill? Not to worry; The Memory Project has this covered, too. If you'd like to create art for a student, you're invited to make a piece of Identity Art. Identity Art features a child's name, together with several positive words they've chosen to describe themselves.

Just like portrait art, Identity Art honors each child's identity, supports their self-esteem, and shares kindness and respect among children of different cultural backgrounds.

Your "Backstory" Makes It Personal

On the back of each piece of artwork, The Memory Project asks student artists to place a good quality photo of themselves holding their portrait or Identity Art piece, so each recipient can see who made this special gift for them.

The artists also draw their hand on the back of the picture. Thus, the recipient is able to symbolically "touch hands" with the artist. Sweet! Inside the hand, the art student writes their name, age, and a simple, uplifting message that's easy to understand.

These additional touches make the entire project extremely personal — a lot like having pen pals was in the pre-digital era.

The children's caregivers express how deeply meaningful these portraits and Identity Art pieces are — much more so than the artists may realize. Ben says the caregivers report, "Receiving such a personal gift from someone so far away, who has never even met them, is something they will never forget."

Thank you for your open-hearted gift to a distant friend, Delphian artists!

Delphian Featured in Study International's Top U.S. Boarding Schools

It's a big world out there, yet it's growing smaller all the time with our growing global connectedness and ability to live and work anywhere via our devices. So savvy parents and students are taking the time and initiative to select the schools that best fit their child's unique educational desires and abilities.

Study International is one key resource facilitating this pivotal decision-making process. The site's voluminous information covers everything a family needs to know, from application, to enrollment, to graduation and beyond, from early childhood to postgraduate studies, and every degree in between.

That's why we're thrilled to be featured as one of Study International's top U.S. boarding schools — no small feat on a site that gets 1.2 million unique visitors each month.

You'll Never Be Bored at Our Boarding School

At 45, Delphian School is a midlife adult, but its heart is a perpetual student. As an international boarding school, "curiosity" is our middle name, and "unconventional" our watchword.

Unlike typical schools, Delphian eschews grade levels in favor of student proficiency. So if you're a middle-school-age child who's reading at the 12th grade level, we'll direct you to books that challenge and excite your intellect. You won't be bored silly reading something written for students with a lower reading comprehension level.

You won't be stuck behind a desk, either. Because Delphian is situated on 720 rolling acres of hills, forest and farmlands, there's plenty of time and space to go exploring and learn subjects such as science and math organically. As our students say, Delphian doesn't just teach you how to get good grades, but how to learn for the rest of your life. Mastering critical thinking allows you to absorb, use and evolve what you learn as you grow toward becoming an independent, confident adult.

Delphian's holistic, well-rounded focus means we start with a core curriculum of academic subjects such as math, history, languages, science, the arts, and literature, then expand far beyond this to encourage our students to explore complementary areas such as music, theater, film production and digital art. What melds all of this subject matter into a cohesive whole is a strong commitment to ethics, leadership, integrity, communication, and human rights.

Did we mention creativity? At Delphian, creativity ranks right up there with curiosity, communication, connection, collaboration, and commitment.

So we might say that when you matriculate at Delphian, you'll be sailing the high seas of boarding school excellence!

Best Boarding School Benefits

If you're just beginning your educational research, here are some of the benefits of a boarding school education in North America. Delphian embodies them all:

  • Independence. Learning self-reliance is important for all children, and boarding school accelerates this process. Living away from home, students learn how to better manage their time and resources. There's nobody looking over your shoulder, asking whether you've done your homework. And if the room is messy, guess who's responsible for tidying it up?
  • Collaboration. The flip side is teamwork: learning how to play well with others on a daily basis, to compromise and cooperate. Boarding school students will meet children from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Frequently, these connections lead to close friendships that will last all their lives.
  • Academic rigor. At the best boarding schools, students will find that their peers are focused on excelling in their studies, so the temptation to goof off or mindlessly scroll on phones is noticeably absent. It's the best kind of peer pressure!
  • Extracurricular zest. The range of potential extracurricular activities is typically far more extensive than in public schools, both because at boarding schools, the entire educational curriculum takes place onsite, and because boarding schools are funded by donors who want the enrollees to have the best possible school experience.
  • Values. A boarding school such as Delphian places a powerful emphasis on moral character: integrity, honor, respect, honesty, hard work, etc., so that graduates leave well-prepared to become productive, grounded individuals capable of forging an extraordinary future.

Teen Power: Transforming Communities for Good

Ask any Delphian School alum to name five fond memories from their time here and they’re sure to mention at least one school field trip. Our amazing faculty and staff are known for planning and executing incredible excursions, like our Business Seminar students’ recent eight-day journey across California.

Our alums are also quick to mention the unmatched spirit of service that comes with the territory here. Our unique approach to self-directed instruction is a natural fit for service-oriented learning, which the world needs more than ever today. 

Feeding Oregon’s neediest families

So it only makes sense that a group of our middle school students took it upon themselves to spend a recent field trip doing right by Oregon’s neediest families. In the course of a single day at a local food processing facility, the students repacked nearly 8,300 pounds of food, representing about 6,900 meals for families in need. 

Translation: each student individually packed 255 meals (and about 275 pounds of food) on their own. Whew! 

All that food went a long way. If we assume (for simplicity’s sake) that each family eats three meals per day, our students packed enough food to last one family about six years four months. Of course, all that food didn’t go to just one household. It was enough to keep 328 families fed for a week straight, or 2,300 families fed for a day.

However you slice it, that’s an impressive impact for fewer than 30 students to make in a single day.

A small token of hope for African orphans

And it’s not the only way Delphian School students are doing good in local and global communities. Another group of students — 14 in all — recently participated in the Memory Project, an art initiative that provides handmade portraits to children in orphanages across the world. Started by a University of Wisconsin graduate named Ben Schumaker, the Memory Project furthers cross-cultural understanding and gives disadvantaged children hope for the future.

“Together, we are using art to reach a distant destination: a kinder world in which all youth see themselves in one another regardless of differences in appearance, culture, religion, or circumstances,” says Schumaker.

The destination for this past year’s portraits (a mix of digital and hand-drawn art) was Nigeria, where far too many children live without parents or older guardians. The Delphian School students kept copies of their work and sent the originals across the ocean.

Bringing Earth Day to life

Back closer to home, our middle schoolers have settled into a productive Earth Day routine: cleaning up and planting greenery in communities like McMinnville, Oregon. 

It’s a great way for them to get outside, honor the spirit of Earth Day, and burn off some of their boundless energy. And it’s great for the planet!

Our students are smart enough to know that they can’t solve every earthly problem themselves. But through initiatives like feeding food-insecure Oregonians, sending artwork to orphans on another continent, and beautifying the communities they call home, they learn valuable lessons about the power of selfless service. And that’s truly worth celebrating.


Delphian Address and Phone Numbers


Social Media:

The Delphian School on Facebook

The Delphian School on Twitter

The Delphian School on Vimeo

Delphian School on Crunchbase