Loch Raven High Grade 10 student Gracie Miller is the daughter of a firefighter. She knows the significance of providing service to the community.
So when her high school began planning an hour of service, she knew exactly who she wanted to help: First responders who keep the community safe.
Miller led an initiative where students pieced together gift bags for those in the line of duty throughout the county. This was one of several service activities held at Loch Raven Feb. 3 to commemorate the 100th day of school in the 2016-17 school year.
Once again this year, Team BCPS celebrated the 100th day of student activities by promoting school spirit.
This was the first time Loch Raven High held a day of service on BCPS Day 100.
Loch Raven teachers Lynnie Bresnahan and Megan Tobin organized the event. But it was a student-driven afternoon. The students planned the activities, contacted organizations and ensured the projects would be beneficial.
Miller’s activity, where students simply filled care packages with treats, was a way to say thank you, an opportunity for first responders to know Loch Raven students care about them.
Each BCPS student must graduate with 75 service-learning hours. Miller reached that target by middle school. But she’s still volunteering and is currently on the entertainment committee for Loch Raven’s Relay for Life cancer fundraiser April 8. Students learned more about Relay for Life in an assembly.
“This is a unique opportunity for us,” said Miller, of the day of service. “It really gives us an opportunity to say thank you.”
Or, perhaps, get well soon.
Inside Loch Raven’s third-floor media center, more than 100 students quietly created hand-written cards for young cancer patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Students also made cat toys and dog pillows for local animal shelters. Loch Raven Grade 10 student Shane Shakoor spent his afternoon creating bird feeders that will be on display throughout the community.
Shakoor, who also has already reached his service-learning hours requirement and is active in student government, is eager to help others.
“I think it’s important to show students what can be done through community service,” he said. “These are hands-on activities that show how much of a difference you can make in a short amount of time.”
In just one afternoon, Loch Raven students created dozens of treat bags for first responders, hundreds of cards for young cancer patients and at least 15 fleece blankets for the homeless.
In total, more than 1,000 tiny projects ensuring Day 100 would benefit the county in so many different ways.