St. Mary’s students take part in service project

St. Mary’s Institute partnered with the Montgomery County SPCA to devote the Catholic School’s National Day of Service to raising awareness for the importance of adopting local shelter pets and helping the local SPCA. (Photos submitted)

AMSTERDAM — St. Mary’s Institute students took part in an innovative service project Monday, part of the school’s ‘SMI Cares’ Initiative.

St. Mary’s partnered with the Montgomery County SPCA to devote the Catholic School’s Week National Day of Service to raising awareness for the importance of adopting local shelter pets and helping the local SPCA.

“This was a very special day. Through this hands-on experience, the simple act of reading and showing love to a shelter pet, this is something our students will surely remember all school year and hopefully their entire lives,” St. Mary’s Institute interim Principal Robert Hayes said in a news release. “Even at the youngest ages, they learn through projects like these that helping others is something that feels great, is fun and easy to do and they can make a real difference in the lives of others.”

Activities included Reading to shelter pet, Candy, for the morning and letting this adoptable pet go “cage free” for the day, while the school “stuffed the cage full of donated items for the SPCA.

The school is hosting a week-long drive to collect paper towels and non-clumping cat litter for the SPCA.

Monday’s project involved the school’s “Book Buddies” Program, where our older students team up with younger ones to read together.

Adding a “furry friend” this morning made the program even more fun and enjoyable for the students while helping students connect to a local charity in a very personal way.

Nearly 200 students at St. Mary’s Institute, from age 3 through eighth grade, participated in the program.

The National Day of Service is an important part of National Catholic Schools Week as well as an important part of a Catholic School education.

“A central aspect of a St. Mary’s Institute education is learning the importance of service to others” St. Mary’s Institute development coordinator Lauren de Jong said in the release. “When students take part in service activities, they demonstrate the values they gain in school and learn how to make the world a better place. When they observe how others serve the community, they gain an appreciation for how they can continue to serve others their entire lives.”

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