In a season of giving, Northside Middle School recently took the idea to a whole new level.
The Lexington Two school’s roughly 500 students participated in the first school-wide Day of Caring. Principal Dr. Tiffany Hall said the idea grew from a School Improvement Council discussion on expanding service and leadership opportunities for students during the school day.
“We wanted them to participate in something that brought all of our students together and empowered them to make changes that positively affected our school and community,” Dr. Hall said.
From a list of 35 service projects on campus, students signed up to participate in the one of their choosing, with offerings like making care packages for an area homeless shelter, creating thank-you banners for West Columbia police and firefighters, organizing the school’s donations closet, crafting toys for an animal shelter, creating messages of positivity to hang around the school, and more.
The Day of Caring was held in the final block of a recent early release day. As she walked around the school observing students on projects, Dr. Hall said she was pleased with what her students were taking away from the experience.
“Our state has competency skills we say students will master by the time they graduate, housed within the Profile of an SC Graduate. We definitely want to ensure high academic rigor, but we also want to ensure students have life skills to be successful,” Dr. Hall said, adding that her students use a rubric to self-assess how they engage as citizens and suggest ways they can strengthen that skill.
Dr. Hall said she expects this will be the first of other such projects, after getting positive feedback from students.
“One student told me if you see positivity in things, you make people happier,” Dr. Hall said. “Students and teachers alike really took pride in the products and final results of their projects.”
Scenes from Northside Middle School’s Day of Caring: Banners for first responders, blankets and toys for an animal shelter, and organizing the donations closet.