Some sixty ninth-graders from Holy Innocents Episcopal School descended on Clifton to spruce up the grounds during the school’s bi-annual “Day of Service”. The middle-schoolers mowed Clifton’s lawn, raked leaves, cleaned gutters, and trimmed hedges.
Twice a year the school cancels classes for the day and organizes a city-wide volunteer initiative for its students.
Animal shelters and Habitat for Humanity were among some of the other organizations where student groups visited to help out.
“We want them to get a sense that there’s a greater purpose other than self,” explained Clay Kelsh, dean of students at Holy Innocents. “Part of our mission at the school is to be of service to the community.”
Holy Innocents Episcopal School is a college-prep school located in north Atlanta. With an enrollment of about 1,400 students, it’s one of the largest of its kind in the country. Many of its students are from affluent families.
Kelsh said the day of service is a way for the students to step outside their environment and see a different perspective.
“I think it’s character-building,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll want to continue volunteering.”
Holy Innocents ninth-grader Eliza Harmon who helped rake leaves at Clifton said she enjoyed donating her time and plans to continue her volunteering efforts.
“I think people need to know more about why it’s important to volunteer, then they’ll be more willing to do it,” she said.