Some of the most heart-warming stories I hear from our schools come from parents who watch their children take part in community service projects organized by their school, sport or club. These students come together and take ownership of the project, whether they are promoting clothing or food drives, spending time beautifying a campus or volunteering for a nonprofit organization.
Our Higley students have been out in the community a great deal the last few weeks, helping feed the hungry or striving to make a day better for a sick child. I have heard countless stories about the efforts of students, as young as preschool, doing something to help others.
Here is just a small list of what our Higley students have done:
* Chaparral Students collected more than 9,500 cans for the KNIX Million Can Crusade.
* Cooley Middle School NJHS students collected more than 100 toys to donate to Phoenix Children's Hospital.
* Sossaman Middle School and preschool students wrote more than 900 letters to current and veteran servicemen and women.
* Higley High girls soccer team members spent time cleaning up the campus in December. Students joined members of the community - with the help of Sun Valley Church - on several other projects, including painting.
* Williams Field High students organized the "Stuff the Bus" food drive, providing more than 13,600 meals through United Food Bank.
* Several Jingle Jogs were held around the district, including one at Centennial Elementary School to raise funds to purchase food boxes for Centennial Angel Tree families.
Through projects such as these, students learn valuable lessons of leadership, community service and team building. I want to applaud all the students, as well as their teachers and staff who support them in these endeavors.