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Opinion

Larson: Students’ empathy, commitment to service impressive

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 proud to work in a school district where students, parents, faculty and staff value service to others. Through service, students develop leadership skills and learn the importance of empathy for others. 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 when disaster strikes or others are in need, they rally support. I am proud of how our students and staff responded in the wake of recent natural disasters that have devastated so many lives. Their giving spirit and selflessness is inspiring. Let’s look at a few recent examples of our students making a difference in the lives of others:

• Glenbard East raised nearly $1,400 for the Red Cross to support hurricane relief efforts.

• Glenbard East students in World History classes donated toiletries to help people in Houston devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

• Glenbard North students collected monetary donations for disaster relief efforts in regions affected by hurricanes and the earthquake-ravaged areas of Mexico. Donations will be sent to the American Red Cross and One America Appeal.

• Glenbard North students in Advanced Placement Environmental Science and the Green Panthers collected personal care items to be sent to Hurricane Harvey victims at Cesar Chavez High School in Houston. The Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce joined in the collection effort, and loads of donations poured in over just a few days.

• Glenbard South athletics collected T-shirts and gym shoes to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

• Glenbard South volleyball players hosted Volley for the Cure for breast cancer research.

• Glenbard West’s Spanish and French Honor Societies and the Glenbard West World Language Department raised $1,000 for Project Paz to assist those in Mexico affected by the earthquake.

• Glenbard West’s girls volleyball hosted a fundraiser at a local restaurant with proceeds benefiting hurricane relief efforts.  

• Glenbard West’s field hockey teams raised money for ovarian cancer research when they hosted Stick it to Cancer Night.

In a time when our country is divided on many issues, it is affirming to see students unified in their compassion for and service to others. Young people’s understanding of the importance of service to others begins at home. I am grateful to parents and guardians in our community for fostering the values of empathy and service in their children. As young adults develop key leadership and interpersonal skills, they are building a better future for all of us.

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

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