Students have focused this year on the theme “Do Good, Be Kind. Students of varying ages are assigned to “families” and throughout the year high school students mentor younger students by reading to them, exchanging letters, celebrating birthdays, and completing a yearly service project.
The largest service project of the day was through a partnership with The Odd Sock Project which supplies socks to homeless shelters. According to the organization, socks are the most needed but least donated article of clothing to homeless shelters. For several weeks, students and community members donated and collected odd and mismatched socks to contribute to the organization.
UA students worked together to inspect, and size the socks to create pairs for donation. “I feel like all the high schoolers and younger kids really came together and wanted to help sort the socks because we knew by doing this we would be giving people who don’t have access to socks on a daily basis something to wear to keep their feet nice and warm,” stated high school student Erica Larkins.
The School also partnered with Bright Blessings to make birthday cards, decorate wrapping paper, and create encouraging bookmarks for clients in Union and Mecklenburg counties. Peyton Kohnle (7th grade) enjoyed making birthday cards for Bright Blessings. “We got to have fun with our UA family members, and it made me feel good knowing that another kid would be able to have something special for their birthday.”
Through Operation Gratitude students wrote letters and colored patriotic cards to send to servicemen and women around the globe. Character Coach Cynthia Mitchell said, “It is always so great to see our students and staff working together and putting their character into practice. It was a fun, fulfilling day for everyone!”
Community service is one of the three pillars of Union Academy’s mission, and students in all grades participate. The school provides opportunities throughout the year for students in grades K-8, and high school students are expected to serve on their own through organizations that interest them. Last year, UA high school students volunteered more than 10,620 hours in the community.