PHOTOS: Sunman-Dearborn Middle School Community Service Day

Posted On December 14, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

(St. Leon, Ind.) – It wasn’t your typically day at school, but students at Sunman-Dearborn Middle School learned a lot Wednesday.

“You get a warm feeling when a kid’s face lights up when you give back by doing something nice for them,” sixth grader Audrey Buesing said while helping classmates create a fleece blanket.

The middle school held its first ever Community Service Day. Many students went out into the community visiting nursing homes, lending a hand at food pantries, and or feeding strays at an animal shelter.

Students who stayed at the school spent the half-day shuffling between classrooms and performing different tasks such as crafting blankets for the YES Home, baking dog treats for strays, or wrapping gifts for district students from needy families. One of the sessions was called “Can You Hoop?” Students were invited to bring in canned goods in order to play some three-on-three basketball.

Teacher and e-coach Josh Benjamin lead the organization of Community Service Day. He said it grew from an effort by students last year to honor a teacher battling cancer.

While teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic are important, Benjamin said the school’s teacher realize it is important to educate the whole child.

“We all are in it for the right reasons. We are in education to make an impact positively on these students and kids and make things memorable for them,” Benjamin said.

S-DMS Principal Matt Maple says he’s also heard from parents who see the value in Wednesday’s experience for students.

Some East Central High School students who volunteer as cadet teachers lent a hand, too. Senior Rachel Rosskopf said it’s a great opportunity for middle school students to learn about the small things they can do to help improve the lives of their neighbors.