SPRING HILL — For the second year in a row, Spring Hill Christian Academy students spent a school day serving the community as part of a "serve-a-thon.''
From the very youngest to the high schoolers, 264 students took part in activities to help others during the week before Thanksgiving.
The three 5-year-olds stayed on campus, but scurried around doing cleaning chores. The elementary students and sixth-graders went to Crew's Lake Park (in Pasco County) to pick up trash. Seventh-graders visited the St. Vincent de Paul Society and helped assemble more than 600 Thanksgiving baskets.
Eighth- and ninth-grade students worked at three Jericho Road Ministries locations — two thrift stores and one food bank. They unloaded trucks, organized inventory, stacked shelves and helped customers.
Tenth-graders went to Blessed Hope Baptist Church (in Pasco County) to participate in fix-it-up projects. They painted, did yard work and helped with repairs.
Juniors and seniors offered free carwashes at two Spring Hill locations, Advanced Auto Parts and Shell Jiffy Lube.
Principal Mike Willis said the serve-a-thon is meant to encourage students to give back to their communities. Teachers and administrators want to teach the students in a tangible way how they can help others in ways that do not involve money. "Sometimes it's the act of service that means more," he said,
Surprisingly, one of the most difficult parts of organizing the event was finding venues that can accommodate that many students, Willis said. The school is interested in helping the community and is willing to do so more than one time a year.