Shortly before the school year ended last June, members of the school’s National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS) along with the Student Council joined forces to organize a school-wide community service project – providing school supplies and backpacks to children living in the tornado-ravaged areas of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Sebastian Zozaya, 2010-2011 NEHS President, thought it was a great idea to collect all the supplies before the school year ended, so they would be ready to distribute on the first day of school. “I was motivated to get involved and start a community service project by an aspect of the NEHS pledge I took that says ‘Be of Service to my school and community, showing that I care.’ We all care for what has happened to these kids our age,” he so eloquently stated.
Doris Quintero, Sagemont’s National Elementary Honor Society advisor, says the entire project was student driven. “Our students were very enthusiastic about this project because they knew it was helping elementary students their age and they all know the joy of starting a school year with brand new school supplies.”
The entire school embraced the project collecting over 100 backpacks filled with school supplies such as crayons, markers, pencils, pens, binders, folders, loose leaf paper, scissors, glue and much more. The school collected so many school supply items that after all the backpacks were filled, the extra items were boxed up to deliver to the schools destroyed by the Tuscaloosa tornado.
Former Weston resident Allison Stoutland helped distribute the donated school supplies. Her husband, a former Miami Hurricanes offensive line coach, is now coaching at the University of Alabama. As a children’s book author and proponent of children’s literacy, Alison had started a “Books for ‘Bama” book drive, but expanded the project to include backpacks as well. Sagemont’s donations were distributed to students at three schools hard hit by the Tuscaloosa tornado. Two of the schools were destroyed, and the third sustained substantial damage. Many of the children and families served by these schools lost their homes.
The Sagemont students involved with this project were touched by this experience. “I personally learned that I should not take what I am fortunate to have for granted and that something as quick and devastating as a tornado could take these things away from me in minutes,” shares Breanna Blake, 2010-2011 NEHS Vice President. “I’ve learned to appreciate what I have, but most importantly, find ways to help those who do not!”
Olivia Byrne, NEHS member, found the experience uplifting. “The supplies and backpack project has inspired me by showing me that life isn’t always the way you might want it to be, but there are people in the world like us who are willing to help not because they have to but because they want to.”
That is exactly the lesson The Sagemont School is trying to teach its young students. Children are exposed to community service starting in preschool. According to Ms. Quintero, students soon begin to see the benefits of their efforts and as they get older realize that they can make a difference in the world.
“This project has taught me that even a group of hard working and motivated kids can organize, execute, and contribute successfully to a worthwhile cause,” notes Nicolas Betancur, also a NEHS member.
The Sagemont School offers a college prep curriculum and operates two campuses in Weston, Fl. In Pre-K through Grade 5, The Sagemont School provides core concepts in a creative environment combined with weekly specials that include science, art, music, Spanish for non-native & native speakers, swimming, PE and media and technology. From middle school through high school graduation, Sagemont students choose from a variety of regular, honors and AP course work. In addition, students share in a networked wireless laptop environment and participate in a comprehensive guidance program for college entrance. Visit The Sagemont School Web site at http://www.sagemont.com/
For more information on The Sagemont School contact Dr. Brent Goldman, President at (954) 389-2454 ext., 305, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more stories about The Sagemont School written by Stacey Bomser go to School News at www.ourcityofweston.com
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The Sagemont School operates two campuses in Weston. The Lower School Campus
serves students in PreK3- Grade 5; the Upper School Campus serves Grade 6 through