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Broadfording Christian Academy counselor says Serve-A-Thon is 'win-win'

June 05, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- While the annual Serve-A-Thon is over for this school year, Elizabeth Luhn said many students at Broadfording Christian Academy return in the fall already excited about the upcoming projects.

As the high school's guidance coordinator, Luhn said she, too, looks forward to the event as well as the long-term benefits she has been able to experience in her 12 years at the school.

"It is truly a win-win situation," Luhn said.

The efforts not only support the local community but students learn how they can make a difference in that community.

At Broadfording Christian Academy, students must amass 80 hours of community service in order to graduate. Most exceed that figure, Luhn said.

"Our high school students are encouraged to compile and keep a résumé of their service work," Luhn said. Over and above the academics, the service work shows colleges and even future employers that this student is well rounded.

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As an example, Luhn said a team of Broadfording Christian Academy students might be sent to the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross to wash windows.

"While they are there, they are learning what that agency does," Luhn said. Sometimes the students are taken on tours of the agency, further expanding their understanding of how things get done in their community.

Some students make contacts while they are participating in the Serve-A-Thon, Luhn said. Then they can call or go back to volunteer later.

"It's all about how the students can help that agency as a volunteer," Luhn said.

The students participating in the Serve-A-Thon gather sponsors before the day they go out to volunteer their services. It is through those sponsors that more than $23,000 has been raised, Luhn said.

"They go, they work hard and they get positive feedback," Luhn said. All ages, from kindergarten through 12th grade, participate.

Even the youngest can go to nursing homes and sing or deliver cards, Luhn said. "They are not just going through the motions. They understand the reasons for it and why they are doing it."

Luhn's four children came up through the school, the youngest just graduating this year from high school.

"I love the Lord, and I so wanted to be part of my children's world as they grew up," Luhn said, describing her job as fitting her perfectly.

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