October 2009 Press Releases
Secretary of State
Kicks Off Service-for-Service Project at Cavendish Town Elementary
- October 27, 2009
Contact: Missy Shea
Markowitz, Cavendish Schools Kick Off Military Service Projects
Students raise funds to support families of deployed soldiers as part of a new Vermont Secretary of State Service-for-Service civics program
Cavendish. Today, Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, along with representatives from the Vermont Army National Guard, visited Cavendish Town Elementary School to officially kick off the secretary of state’s Service-for-Service project. Service-for-Service is a project that links Vermont school children with Vermont National Guard families.
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz said, “When we learned how many Vermont families would be impacted by the upcoming deployment, we organized an effort to help support our troops and their families by connecting our schools with guard families. Our Service-for-Service project is a great way to teach our students the importance of service. We are kicking off this program with Jennifer Harper and her students in Cavendish because they deserve kudos for their fabulous efforts to raise money to help guard families!”
Jennifer Harper, Vermont’s 2006 Teacher of the Year, and her class made a generous donation to the Charitable Foundation, a non-profit entity of the Vermont National Guard. The contribution is being used to support the Guard Card project that provides long distance calling cards to every departing service member. Ms. Harper said, “In our small community we have several families that are active members of the armed services and so students were excited to know that the money they raised by staying up all night doing educational activities would allow for a guardsman to keep in touch with his family while he was overseas.”
The students organized a fundraising Ed-U-Thon. The 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students camped out at the school from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., playing educational games, reading, and having snacks. Each student solicited sponsors on an hourly or total event basis. By Saturday morning, they had raised $1,400. Harper said, “This was a great way to demonstrate to our students the power of service and the importance of giving back to our community.”
Markowitz added, “Students that have opportunities to practice the skills of civic engagement will be more likely to be active citizens in the future. It is our hope that teachers will use this project to help students learn the meaning and importance of service in our communities.”
Major Randall Gates, director of the Vermont National Guard State Family Readiness Program, and himself a soldier who will be deployed, adds, "This endeavor is a tremendous showing of community support for our soldiers. Our Airmen, Soldiers and Family Readiness Program has benefitted from the ideas generated by Secretary Deb Markowitz's office, and from the hard work of Vermont teachers and students. We look forward to further collaboration."
There is great opportunity for schools to develop other service-learning projects in support of the soldiers and their families. For more information about the Service-for- Service project or related school-based service learning projects, please contact Missy Shea, Civic Education Coordinator, Office of the Secretary of State, or visit the webpage at http://www.sec.state.vt.us/kids/service_for_service.html