Students at New Way Academy are committed to helping improve the lives of others through community service. Over the last year, students have donated thousands of hours to volunteering at shelters, organizing food and clothing drives, and contributing time to helping those in need.
“People are always doing stuff for us, so we need to start doing things for other people,” says fifth grader Zachary LeGrand, on why he values community service. And students at New Way are doing things for others in a big way. Last year, students from across all grade levels came together to donate over 1,200 non-perishable food items to the St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank and over 700 sweatshirts to Tumbleweeds, a non-profit organization supporting homeless teens and young adults.
Students who perform community service learn important leadership and social skills, become more compassionate, and have greater self-esteem. New Way high school students have learned many of these lessons first hand through their partnership with the ICM Food and Clothing Bank. Students and teachers from New Way’s high school began volunteering at the ICM Bank in the middle of the 2015/2016 school year. The program began as an occasional visit to help sort donations, but the students involved quickly became passionate about making a more consistent commitment to the organization.
This school year, selected students visit the ICM Bank twice a month to help sort donations, pack food boxes, and assist clients of the food bank. Students also took quick action to organize an emergency food and clothing drive at the beginning of the school year, after learning that the ICM Bank was experiencing a severe shortage of donations. In just one week, New Way students rallied together to collect and deliver over 500 pounds of food and clothing to help alleviate the shortage.
Other leadership groups at New Way have also stepped up to help those in need. New Way’s High School Student Government recently organized a week-long toy drive for patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, collecting over 620 new toys to donate to kids in need. This month, the Lower School Student Government will host a Thanksgiving canned food drive to benefit the Happily Ever After League, an organization that supports mothers undergoing treatment for cancer.
Students at New Way Academy are becoming young stewards in our community. Starting at the earliest grades, they are learning firsthand the value of philanthropy and volunteerism.