Elementary students, families embrace service for MLK

Elementary School Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King through Service Opportunities

By Suzanne Misciagna, Correspondent, UnionvilleTimes.com

Clifford Han, a first grader at Hillendale Elementary makes a placemat for homebound residents in Chester County.

CHADDS FORD – Students in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School district were off from school on Monday, January 16, in honor of the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. But, for many students, their day “off” from academics was a day “on” for service.

For the past five years, UCFSD students and their families have honored Dr. King’s philosophy of “doing for others” through a district-wide service initiative offered at several of its elementary schools and the district’s middle and high school. Unionville-Chadds Ford School District Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John Sanville, encouraged students and their families to pick whatever service opportunity appealed to them.

“There is something for everyone – so pick your flavor and sign up,” he said.

Hillendale Elementary School’s cafeteria was transformed into a soup kitchen. One hundred quarts of soup were prepared along with special hand-made placemats. These were delivered to Chester County’s homebound residents in the West Grove and Avondale areas as part of Catholic Social Services’ Meals on Wheels program.  According to Jing Han, mother of Clifford Han, a first grader at Hillendale, “We came to the day of service last year too. It is great experience to get the kids involved in helping our community.”

Bradley Heacock, a sixth grader at Patton Middle School, helps assemble bagged lunches at Hillendale's MLK event.

In addition to making soup, students and their families were busy assembling bagged lunches to benefit Safe Harbor of Chester County in West Chester, an independent, non-profit organization providing food, shelter, and counseling to homeless men and women in Chester County.  300 hand-decorated bagged lunches were assembled with local businesses pitching in such as Barnard’s Orchard in Newlin who graciously donated 300 apples for the lunches.

Pocopson Elementary students also offered their time and talents in making blankets and bookmarks to be donated to The Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  The district also participated in a community-wide food drive serving the Kennett Area Community Service’s Food Cupboard.

“UCFSD and the entire community routinely put service above self,” said Sanville. “There are countless examples of our children, parents, and the greater community demonstrating care and concern for the world around them.”

It looks like Monday’s day of service was one more example.


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