Carroll County students are learning to serve others

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The motto of Carroll County High School is “Enter to Learn; Leave to Serve.” This time of year, the spirit of service is alive not only at the high school, but throughout the entire district.  The following are just a few examples of how Carroll County students are serving others in need.
Throughout the district, students are bringing in non-perishable food items to benefit the Carroll County Ministerial Association Food Pantry, which is housed in the basement of St. John Catholic Church.  In 2009, the students and staff from Carroll County Schools donated nearly 7,000 items, almost half of the 14,785 items collected from the community as a whole.
 In addition to students bringing in items in their homeroom classes, members of the Carroll County High School chapter of the National Honor Society helped scouts and other volunteers deliver fliers to Carroll County homes on Nov. 13.  The fliers remind Carroll County residents to place food items on their front porch Saturday morning, Nov. 20, for the Scouting for Food Collection. The Carroll County High School Student Council also organized a blood drive at the school and collected 46 pints of blood.
Both Carroll County High School and Carroll County Middle School students played an important role in honoring those who have served in the military during Veterans Day celebrations on Nov. 11.  The Carroll County Honor Guard, made up of students from both schools, marched with precision as they displayed the American Flag as part of a community event at Point Park and during celebrations at their schools.  Joe Dickerson, a Navy veteran who also serves as a bus driver and maintenance worker for the school district, meets with the honor guard after school to practice for numerous flag ceremonies throughout the year.  The Carroll County Band of Gold and Carroll County High School Chorus also performed at the community Veterans Day event.
In addition to collecting non-perishable food items, students at Cartmell Elementary School are also bringing in items for Operation Christmas Child.  Each classroom’s 4-H class officers are encouraging classmates to bring in enough small items to fill four shoe boxes each, along with $7 in postage for each box.  The shoe boxes, which include small toys, school supplies, sweets and other gifts, are sent to children around the world through the organization, Samaritan’s Purse.
Finally, as a follow up to the Rachel’s Challenge program in early November, which encourages kindness and compassion among students, third-grade teacher Kayla Stewart is challenging students to create a paper chain, made of links representing good deeds, that stretches from Cartmell Elementary School to Carroll County High School.   
Lisa James, superintendent of Carroll County Schools, said that getting students involved in meeting the real-life needs of people in Carroll County or around the world teaches them many valuable life lessons.
“Service projects give students opportunities to look beyond their own needs and see a bigger picture of the world they live in,” James said.

Jeff Fremin is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.