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Students serve others through annual program

May 21, 2007

To students at Broadfording Christian Academy near Hagerstown, service to the community is "a normal and expected civil responsibility," the school says.

"They have learned over the years that serving others can be both fun and rewarding. Many high school students have been participating in the school's annual Serve-A-Thon program since they were elementary students," BCA said in a press release.

Every spring, the school sets aside a day to go out and serve the community. Preparations for the event begin in January and, for weeks, students are reminded through assemblies, classroom visits and morning announcements, "that reaching out to others and giving back to their community is an important way to keep their local community strong," the school said.

Even kindergartners serve by entertaining the elderly. The youngsters share warmth and sunshine with those that might be shut in and lonely.

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Third-graders do jobs like weeding, mulching and planting flowers.

By the time students are in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, they are working at camps and relief centers. Middle and high school students visit and serve at a variety of organizations in the county.

The service day is a schoolwide project. Administrators, faculty, staff and parent volunteers chip in to help.

"I have enjoyed seeing this program grow and expand over the last 10 years," said Elizabeth Luhn, Serve-A-Thon director for BCA.

"The kids make this program exciting and worthwhile. There is no doubt in my mind that many of them will go into adulthood with the solid understanding that volunteering in their local community is not only fun, but also very important if they want their community to be strong."

Luhn said the students' excitement about the project amazes her every year.

"They accept their service assignments with eagerness and enthusiasm, and head right out and willingly serve. It brings me great joy to work with them."

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