Saturday, October 15, 2011

Edina Day of Service 2011

Thanks to all of the families who shared part of their Saturday making Edina Day of Service a great event for our schools and our community.
--Ric Dressen @Edina Super

Today was the third annual Edina Day of Service, and projects all over town were expected to involve more than 1,000 volunteers and 3,000 hours of donated time. Some of the largest projects took place in Edina schools.
At Cornelia, students gathered gently-used kid items including clothing, outerwear, books, toys and sports equipment. They sorted and sold these items at their Kids Helping Kids Sale. The proceeds will be donated to Somali famine relief through Feed My Starving Children; any items not sold will be given to Family Partnership of the Twin Cities, serving our community's most vulnerable children and families.

The sale is the fifth annual fall service project for the school, and part of Cornelia's Doing Good Together service learning program. One mom working the sale today said, "We are helping our children learn that they can make an impact on global disasters like the Somali famine by doing something as simple as selling our used stuff and donating the proceeds."

At Edina High School, students worked on cleaning up school grounds. Student project organizer Tom Anderson said, "I really think that being part of a community means helping out. Edina is a really great school, and whatever I can do to help keep it that way, I will do it."

My family and I spent the morning and part of the afternoon at Highlands, where 99 student, staff and parent volunteers worked on maintaining school grounds--easily 250 hours of service right there, and all for the price of 300 doughnut holes. Highlands is very lucky to have a diverse campus with a variety of outdoor learning spaces, but it takes a well-organized and committed school community to keep them humming. We weeded and mulched and watered. We re-liberated the path to our pond classroom area and got covered in burrs. The play area outside the kindergarten classrooms was buzzing with new kindergarten families weeding, mulching and generally beautifying. We put our produce gardens to bed, digging in composted manure so students can plant as soon as the ground thaws in the spring. We also made good progress on our newest learning area, a sensory garden. As one student summed up the new space, "You have to use all five of your senses to discover all of the surprises."

We got a lot of important work done today, we had a lot of fun, and we are sincerely grateful to everyone who participated! But we also know that we could not do all we do at Highlands, in our schools, and in our community, without a sustained commitment to service throughout the year. As one mom said to me today, possibly a tiny bit ironically, "Isn't every day a day of service in Edina?"

Cheryl Gunness

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