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Dover Post
  • South Dover Elementary celebrates Global Youth Service Day

  • Now that spring has rolled around, its time for spring cleaning. Students got to work planting a garden and local volunteers helped construct a greenhouse and clear a nature trail in honor of Global Youth Service Day on Friday.
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  • Now that spring has rolled around, its time for spring cleaning. Students got to work planting a garden and local volunteers helped construct a greenhouse and clear a nature trail in honor of Global Youth Service Day on Friday.
    Global Youth Service Day, which is actually spanned the entire weekend of April 11-13, is dedicated to getting youth involved with volunteerism.
    The efforts at South Dover Elementary were coordinated by Cassandra Pearce, the school’s youth ambassador and mentor coordinator who is with Connecting Generations and AmeriCorps and Monica Fisher, South Dover’s family crisis therapist. The planned activities seemed like an appropriate way to celebrate the day, Fisher said.
    “Since Friday is Global Youth Service Day I thought, ‘why not invite all of our students to participate in activities to beautify the school, be environmentally friendly and allow us to give back to the community,’” Fisher said.
    The elementary school students helped fill and plant seeds in the garden beds, which are were built by volunteers from AmeriCorps and the community. A strawberry planter was also constructed. Volunteers from Dover Air Force Base cleared a walking path behind the school that has become overgrown and planted several trees, said Principal Michelle Duke.
    “The walking trail is something I’ve been thinking of for a long time,” Duke said. ”We want to make it a place for walking and study. When Monica said she had volunteers lined up I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get the job done.”
    The garden beds planted on Friday are also intended to be an educational experience for students, Duke said. Many of the grades at the elementary school have science curriculum that focuses on plants or ecosystems and the garden will give children hands on examples of those topics. It can also help them learn about their food, Duke said.
    “We are really focused on healthy eating and want our children to know where healthy food comes from and to understand that when things are nursed and cared for they grow and bloom,” she said.
    Flowers, vegetables and fruit were planted in the beds and will be harvested for students and staff. Any additional produce will be donated to local shelters, according to Fisher. The Global Youth Day of Service ran from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, with groups of students working in short shifts. Tending the garden will hopefully help make students good stewards, Pearce said.
    “I believe it’s definitely something that will build and enhance their learning about nature and the environment,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how happy and excited the kids are about learning how to take care of the environment.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Beyond teaching students about the environment, Duke is hoping the work on Friday taught students at her school larger lessons.
    “Well I hope this will teach them to give back,” she said. “We talk about being respectful and doing your best, but I hope this shows them what a giving sprit is and how it’s fun to give back.”

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