Making a Difference

By: Todd Martin
Around the world, down the street or across the hall, Saegert Elementary School students wanted Friday to make a difference.

In the student council’s annual Make a Difference Day project, student council members took the lead in gathering paper goods for charity and performing cleanup projects around the school.

“This is our opportunity to get into community service and learn about volunteering,” said school counselor Marlena Kelly-Lopez, the student council advisor.

The whole school contributed to the drive, collecting paper goods for Families in Crisis.

On Friday, 25 third- through fifth-grade council members cleaned the floors of the school with tennis balls attached to long sticks, cleaned windows and posted anti-bullying posters on the walls.

Students also ran errands for school office staff members, read stories to kindergarten and first-grade classes and on a warmer day soon will take the cleaning outside.

“It’s a way for them to think bigger than themselves,” said Lopez. “They get a chance to think about helping the school and the community.”

Council president Dustin Prins and vice president Christina Wade, both fifth-graders, said the day was a good way to spruce up the school and to show leadership in action.

“We’re just trying to help out, to clean the windows and to get the paper products to help people in need,” said Wade. “It was really fun.”

“It’s important to make the school clean,” said Prins. “It’s a step to make the whole city cleaner.”

The council officers said the leadership group gathers regularly to organize plans to improve the school and to help others.

“I think they learn about leadership and helping their peers,” Lopez said, explaining the importance of the annual Make a Difference Day efforts around the school.

“They can see the value of volunteerism, it motivates others and it’s rewarding for them,” she said. “You can make a difference in the community and the world even when you’re young.”