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For K12-powered students, community service plays a significant role in their education. Students lead winter coat and toy drives, volunteer at local shelters, and teach senior citizens about technology. This spring, the Cyber Academy of South Carolina (CASC) National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) coordinated a food drive at the school’s annual Capitol Day.

In-person gatherings like Capitol Day offer online students a chance to connect with their classmates and teachers face-to-face. With families coming from all over the state for the event, NHS and JNHS students wanted to plan a service project that would benefit the local Columbia community. They identified the Harvest Hope Food Bank, just a few miles from where Capitol Day festivities would take place, and worked with the staff to see what items were most needed.

The students solicited donations during CASC homeroom sessions and created signs to promote the food drive. “Everyone’s ideas were engaging and creative, and truly showed how passionate they had become for this project,” said Lauren Ahl, student President of CASC’s National Honors Society chapter.

“The students were very excited to turn an event they were already looking forward to into an opportunity to help others,” said Cindy Ahl, a high school teacher at CASC.

The CASC community collected more than 200 pounds of food, as well as diapers, toiletries and paper goods. They delivered it to the Harvest Hope Food Bank the same day. Students who could not attend were invited to hold a food drive in their communities, or make a donation to Harvest Hope or another food banks.

“I enjoyed seeing our group work together and to see it all come together,” said Lauren. “It’s rewarding to promote charity and kindness as a school. After the drive, everyone was excited to think about what service projects we will lead next!”

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