Greencastle-Antrim students honor King by serving

January 17, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • Greencastle-Antrim High School junior Shannon Starr serves salad to Priscilla Simmons and her 2-year-old daughter, Dezanea Simmons, Monday night at the New Hope Shelter in Waynesboro, Pa.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Students at Greencastle-Antrim High School celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by giving back to the community.

On Monday’s federal holiday, when many schools were closed, Greencastle students were keeping King’s legacy alive by serving others.

After a day of class, six Greencastle-Antrim High students piled into a school van, along with civics teachers Ellen Kirkner and Van Adams, to serve lasagna to 10 residents of the New Hope Shelter at 25 S. Potomac St. in Waynesboro.

Students in the Family Consumer Science classes at the high school prepared three trays of lasagna and six casseroles for the residents of the temporary homeless shelter.

Shelter resident Nancy Barth, 55, said salad, lasagna and ice cream were a change of pace from the normal routine of spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and meatloaf.

As she spoke, Barth said she was overwhelmed and had goosebumps thinking about the willingness of the teens to serve those less fortunate.

“I think it’s really awesome that the teachers are involved with the children to have them come out and be a servant and to help others. I think that’s really important in today’s world,” said Barth, who has been at the shelter for eight months but is moving into an apartment soon.

While residents normally dine buffet-style, the communal dining room was set up to accommodate a family-style meal.

“This is a real treat for us,” Barth said.

Jim Snyder, 46, of Waynesboro, has lived at the shelter for four weeks.

“I think it’s great. I think it’s a very good thing that they’re doing,” Snyder said. “I love lasagna. It’s something that I could eat all the time.”

For senior Rebekah Sourbier, 17, who has never been to a shelter, helping serve on Monday was a new experience.

“I’m glad I came,” she said. “It just seems like we’re making them happy, and we’re helping out.”

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sourbier said she feels like she helped promote King’s legacy in a small way.

“I’m happy that we’re able to help out people, and not just sit back and watch them try to do it themselves,” Sourbier said.

Students also collected more than 260 items during Friday’s basketball games, including canned food, paper towels and other nonperishables.

“I just think it’s great that they’re willing to come in here after school hours and serve others,” said Van Adams, Greencastle-Antrim High School civics teacher. “I think it’s also a very good experience because sometimes we never get out of our little area and sometimes it’s good to see other sides of life, other parts of the community.”

Junior Abbi Byers, 17, went to the shelter once to deliver Christmas presents.

“This is what he (King) would want us to do,” Byers said.

“The kids who are at home aren’t even thinking about why they’re off. We’re here learning about why there is this holiday,” said junior Shannon Starr, 17. “He wanted everyone, not just people of race, to have equal rights — to be equal to everyone. It’s what he fought for.”

Pastor William Burcher, the shelter director, said he applauds the school district for keeping King’s legacy alive by helping those less fortunate.

“It’s very important that we teach young people to be servants and to think of others,” Burcher said.

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