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Community Service: The Earlier the Better!

Tommy+McCloskey+%28left%29+and+Christian+Baldari++help+prepare+a+salad+last+year+at+Quantum+House+as+part+of+Mr.+Bayless+and+Mrs.+Rudner%27s+seventh+grade+advisories.+The+students+prepared+a+meal+to+feed+families+whose+children+were+being+treated+at++local+hospitals.
Tommy McCloskey (left) and Christian Baldari  help prepare a salad last year at Quantum House as part of Mr. Bayless and Mrs. Rudner's seventh grade advisories. The students prepared a meal to feed families whose children were being treated at  local hospitals.

Tommy McCloskey (left) and Christian Baldari help prepare a salad last year at Quantum House as part of Mr. Bayless and Mrs. Rudner's seventh grade advisories. The students prepared a meal to feed families whose children were being treated at local hospitals.

Rissy Dalton

Rissy Dalton

Tommy McCloskey (left) and Christian Baldari help prepare a salad last year at Quantum House as part of Mr. Bayless and Mrs. Rudner's seventh grade advisories. The students prepared a meal to feed families whose children were being treated at local hospitals.

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The Benjamin School prides itself on its character traits and the importance of giving back to its community. That is why every middle school student is required to have a certain number of hours for community service. “At a young age it is important to find ways to give back to your community,” said Ms. Danielle Benvenuto, student services counselor for grades four through eight. “Find what interests you and do it because there are so many different organizations and they are all fantastic.”

At TBS, the sixth graders are required to have six hours, the seventh graders need eight hours, and the eighth graders need ten hours.

Some students, however, go above and beyond the required hours. As a result, the administration recognizes their efforts at the end of the year. “People [who] get over a hundred hours get a certificate and get recognized in the end-of-the-year ceremony,” explained Benvenuto.

There are a number of volunteer opportunities through the Middle School, whether it’s through a required advisory project or required grade-level event. Student Council members also participate in a number of community service programs.

Mrs. Loretta Corey, the Middle School’s student council advisor, helps organize community service for those in Student Council.

“This year we are going to do a lot of different projects throughout the year,” she said. “Student Council would be a great thing for students because we get involved in lots of different areas. We welcome parents on Back-to-School Night, help make sandwiches [for the homeless], do book drives, food drives, and toy drives [for those in need]. Student Council is a great way to give back to the community.”

Mrs. Susan Poncy, student services counselor, thinks getting community service done early is a big help.

“It is always good to work ahead instead of waiting until the last minute,” said Poncy. “I know the percent of people that don’t do the community service at all is zero percent. Towards the end of the year, we really try to do everything we can to help people get the right amount of hours. We understand that other things come up such as sports, and other activities, so I think getting it done early is better because you can get it done and then not worry about it. It is such an important thing to do.”

Seventh grader Will Mahon is one of the students who took advantage of getting his hours in early last year. He was part of a mission trip last summer which allowed him to accrue community service hours that he was then able to apply to the following year.

“I got one hundred hours of community service last year,” said Mahon. “I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic over the summer. We went to one of the poorest towns near Santo Domingo, and we built a basketball court for the kids and held lacrosse practices, and it was really fun.”

Community service is an amazing opportunity to give back to the community, and who knows? You may even have fun doing it.

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Community Service: The Earlier the Better!