Students Create New Community Gathering Spaces on Campus

Mount Madonna middle and high school students organized a recent work day to make more community spaces on campus. Students cleared brush, organized the library to transform one corner into a student lounge, moved outdoor furniture around to create inviting spaces to sit and gather and hung hammocks in the quad. 

“What a day of service really is, is showing appreciation for our community,” said senior class president Grace Timan. 

Already, the hammocks were a huge hit among students. Shortly after they were assembled and set up, students could be seen lounging, reading, visiting and eating lunches in them. 

Students were creative with using materials already on campus to create more intentional hang-out spaces. Middle schoolers dragged tables and benches down to the upper campus’ beautiful view of the bay and arranged them in a circle so students could gather in groups there. 

Over at the campus garden, teacher Sara Sobkoviak directed students in clearing brush and debris for a larger vision to create a pathway from the campus garden to the pond, and create another gathering spot at the shore of the pond. 

“This is part of a larger vision,” Sobkoviak said. “We have plans to transform this whole space.”

After the work day concluded, Timan addressed her peers at the amphitheater. 

“Obviously, there is a little bit of work, a little bit of manual labor that comes with these projects, but it’s really important to show how driven we are as a community and what can happen when we come together,” Timan said. 

Sobkoviak agreed and chimed in. “It is labor, you’re having to use your muscles, your hands, you get tired — it is work. We really appreciate the work you put into today.” 

The students celebrated their hard work with a delicious lunch from El Buen, a local taco truck that came to campus. Many students enjoyed their lunch in the new outdoor spaces they created earlier that day.


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 375 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.