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Opinion

Larson: Glenbard District 87 emphasizes importance of service to others

Community voice

David F. Larson is the superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87.
David F. Larson is the superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87.

I am very proud to work in a school district where students, parents, faculty and staff value service to others. Through service, students learn they can make a difference with what they do, leading to more confidence and a can-do spirit. Students also develop problem-solving and teamwork skills, which transfer to the classroom and future work experiences.

Our students are involved in a variety of service projects throughout the year, and their work to help others really picks up during the holiday season. Their giving spirit and selflessness is inspiring. Let’s look at a few examples of our students making a meaningful difference in the lives of others:

Glenbard East

• The Student Leadership program and ACE Club coordinated the 16th annual food drive, which benefits the Lombard Food Pantry.
• Girls soccer donated $2,500 to The Outreach House of Lombard, as well as various items for infants.
• Lady Rams basketball team hosted a toy drive for Toys for Tots.
• Boys tennis volunteered at Feed My Starving Children.
• Ecology Club collected old holiday lights to give to Goodwill for recycling.
• Key Club and National Honor Society members volunteered at Salvation Army bell ringing, Lombard Historical Society Jingle Bell Jubilee, Madison Elementary School Breakfast with Santa, Bloomingdale Parks Foundation holiday gift wrapping at Stratford Mall and YMCA tree sales.

Glenbard North

• Students donated a variety of food items through Christmas Sharing, a village-sponsored event that allows Carol Stream residents to share holiday cheer with their neighbors who may be less fortunate.
• Club Interact is sponsoring a Giving Tree to help more than 330 neglected and abused children affected by domestic violence. Club Interact is affiliated with the Rotary Club of Carol Stream.
• Transition students, along with Rotary Club of Carol Stream, are collecting new and gently used coats to be donated to Carol Stream and Wheaton PADS shelters.
• Student Council conducted a toy/stuffed animal drive.
• Through Hope for Haiti, Student Council is selling wristbands to raise money for an orphanage in Haiti that was damaged by the hurricane.
• Through the Linus Project, the Green Panthers, an environmental club, will make no-sew blankets to provide comfort and security to children who are seriously ill or traumatized.

Glenbard South

• Students sent homemade holiday cards to children being treated at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
• Students for Students made holiday cards for those serving in the military.
• Raider Dance filled several boxes for Operation Christmas Child, which is a Samaritan’s Purse project for people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine.

Glenbard West

• Student Council hosted its annual toiletry drive, which supports area senior citizens in need.
• Boys basketball players spent a Saturday making Christmas baskets for the Glen Ellyn Junior Woman's Club.
• Glenbard West’s Glenbard Latino Organization (G.L.O.) hosted a clothing drive.
• Football team worked with the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry to distribute fliers for the holiday season of needs, and they also volunteered at the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
• Project Action hosted the fourth annual Triple Play for World Relief DuPage/Aurora, an evening of movies and snacks. Proceeds went to World Relief, which helps refugee families relocate and thrive in DuPage County. 

Our students are developing leadership skills through service. They are connecting with adults both in school and in community organizations. Through volunteering, students can explore potential college majors and careers and find out what they need to do to be successful in these areas.

Our students’ understanding of the importance of service to others begins at home. It’s clear to me that our students’ parents and guardians have instilled in them values that will serve them well throughout life. I appreciate parents and guardians partnering with us to prepare our students for their adult lives.

David F. Larson is the superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87.

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