Mount Vernon students spent a day last month honoring those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, through its annual Helping Hands Day. Taking a cue from the School’s strategic plan–MVx–organizers sought to make this year a more meaningful experience for students.

Seeking to go deeper in the community, nonprofits came on campus allowing Upper School students to discover an organization they might consider serving throughout the year. Interacting in a nonprofit festival, hearing motivational talks from leaders, packing 15,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger, and writing personalized thank you letters to Sandy Springs’ 115 firefighters–the Upper School completely reimagined the day.

Mount Vernon’s Lower School and sixth grade students packed 450 hygiene kits and 300 snack packs for families in need. Seventh and eighth graders went off campus to serve at 10 different nonprofits, many of which were represented at the Upper School nonprofit festival.

Meanwhile the School’s youngest learners in the Preschool partnered with Los Niños Primero, the organization that inspires Latino preschoolers to be lifelong learners and exemplary members of the community. Children packed nearly 50 goodie bags with more to come filled with crafts and school supplies.

Mount Vernon students worked with 14 organizations. Participating Helping Hands Day organizations included: Action Ministries, Agape Youth & Family Center, Books for Africa, Campbell-Stone Independent Living, Center for Civil & Human Rights, Community Assistance Center, Door Atlanta, Friends of Lost, Corner Preserve, Gateway Center, Lighthouse Family Retreat, Los Niños Primero, Love Beyond Walls, Meals on Wheels and Truly Living Well.

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Nearly 60 volunteers completed several campus beautification projects at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School last month, including painting murals, building a rock garden, constructing a gazebo and spreading pine straw. By the end of the project, volunteers had laid 102 bales of pine straw and mulch, painted 42 cafeteria ceiling tiles with quotes and art, created a large mural for school lobby, and tended flower beds. 

The project was part of the YMCA’s “Days of Service.” More than 1,600 Y volunteers participated in 22 community service projects throughout metro Atlanta.   

“Over the past 160 years, the Y has evolved to meet the unmet needs within communities around the Metro Atlanta area,” said Kristin McEwen, senior VP of operations for the YCMA of Metro Atlanta. While times have changed since the Y’s founding in 1858, the Y’s focus on serving the community has not.

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Klaretta Jacobs was named an AAUW scholarship recipient and the Dunwoody Elementary School 2017 Teacher of the Year and is spotlighted via the 59th annual AAUW Bookfair.

“The AAUW Scholarship assisted me in obtaining a higher degree, a Masters of Teaching, which allows me to better serve and educate my students. It reduced some of the financial burden that is attached to pursuing an education. I am forever grateful to AAUW for their generous contribution.”

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Davis Academy Lower School students participate in maker-related activities on a monthly basis during Maker Monday, an opportunity for students to explore 21st century innovation while creating and designing unique projects. The first Maker Monday of the school year was designed in the spirit of “caring for the sick” and “acts of tender love and kindness.”

The project involved building and decorating light up pill boxes wired with copper tape, a coin cell battery, LilyPad switches, and an LED light. Five 2nd-grade students delivered the light up pill boxes to residents at Somerby Sandy Springs, a community that serves the needs of a wide range of seniors with Independent Living and memory care.

“Delivering the light up pill boxes to residents at Somerby Sandy Springs was meaningful to me because it was a good deed”, said second grader Molly Medeiros.

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