Last updated: June 01. 2013 7:47AM - 334 Views
James Howell
Staff Writer

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Students in the Ashe County Middle School Service Learning Club donated over 700 gift items to Margate Health and Rehab Center for Santa Day, which was held at 2 p.m. on Friday.

These items were collected from the students, peers and staff from the middle school.

“This has been a great experience for students and staff and we hope to make this a tradition at ACMS each year,” said a release from Dawn Richardson, the teacher from the middle school who oversees the Service Learning Club.

The Ashe County Middle School offers about 30 different clubs, which allows students an opportunity to dedicate an hour each week to the club of their choice.

The ACMS Service Learning Club focuses on the community and what the students would like to change, improve or be a part of. The club is made up of 14 seventh and eighth grade students who are very involved in their community.

After the group brainstormed about how to contribute to the community, some students mentioned that the elderly are often overlooked during the holiday season.

The students worked together to organize and plan the steps needed to complete the gift-giving project to the elderly residents at Margate Health and Rehab Center. The students decided to name it “Bring Cheer, Not Tears. Buy a Gift for the Elderly.”

Students were concerned that some of the residents might have a large family, while others have no one. They wanted to provide a gift for every resident, and they did.

During this project, students wrote proposals, made a commercial for the morning ACMS announcements, made posters to hang in the halls, collected items, contacted Margate, and went to each classroom encouraging students to donate.

At the end of this project, the students and staff at ACMS had over 700 items.

Along with this project, the club was able to tie in December’s character education trait, which is kindness.

Every student at the middle school had the opportunity to make a card or color a picture for the residents at Margate. Every gift bag included a handmade card from a student. Other clubs also got involved by making scarves to place in some of the bags.

Also, when a student visited “The Cupboard” in Crumpler to purchase items, owners Burt and Rose Mary Phipps donated enough combs and soap to place in each gift bag once the student explained the project.

“We appreciate their support,” said Richardson’s release.

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