SHS does community service

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The day before we put aside our studies to be with our families and eat endless amounts of food, students at SHS were presented with an opportunity to help out the community on the day that is known at SHS as Community Service Day.


“Community Service Day is an opportunity for the SHS community to learn about some of the global and local issues that exist,” said Ms. Ganci, Head of the English Department as well as one of the coordinators for this year’s Community Service Day. “It was started in 2011 as a result of a teacher-lead desire for community service to be a part of our school values,” Ms. Ganci also said. Many teachers have helped in organizing this event, and in the past teachers such as, Mrs. Flanagan, Ms. Gahm-Diaz, Mrs. Balliro, Mrs. Albert, and Ms. Skelton have all had some part in Community Service Day. This year, Ms. Wilbur and Mrs. Litle worked along with Ms. Ganci to help plan the events.


The day was off to a great start as students were called down to the auditorium, after a brief meeting in homeroom, where Ms. Ganci introduced a short documentary called Tashi and the Monk (2014). Following the film, students then heard from former 2008 SHS graduate Kathryn McCormack who spoke about her recent service trip to Nepal where she helped with earthquake relief. After, students went to his or her breakout session he or she were assigned to in homeroom earlier that morning. Activities such as, cleaning the school grounds, making decorations for local shelters, sorting food donations into bags, and creating cards for service men and women were some examples offered to students that day.


“I think it was a great way to spend a half day because it allowed everyone to give back or do something good for their community, and it can make them feel better about themselves and others feel good too,” said SHS sophomore Katelyn O’Keefe. O’Keefe also participated in the writing letters to armed forces and said that her favorite part of the day was the documentary film, Tashi and the Monk.


SHS junior, Ella Parker, also enjoyed the documentary the most and said, “I think Community Service Day is a good thing to implement in the high school, because a lot of people don’t care about helping others, and even if it’s for only one day, those couple of hours when they can experience service work could really change their perspective, and that’s definitely important to both our community and the whole world.”


After the breakout sessions, students and faculty made their way to the gym where performances from the band, the dance team, the newly formed step team, and the cheerleaders took place. The new annual tradition of seniors vs faculty tug- o’- war closed the rally, the teachers tugging their way to victory. As students left school that afternoon, Ms. Ganci said what she hopes students took with them from that day was, “A way for students to reflect on their own contribution to their community. We want to give students real ways to help others and also to educate them about some of the need in the world. We also hope that the day allows students to reflect on their values and character.”


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