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Students collect items for homeless through grant
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Forsyth County News

A local middle school received a grant to enhance students’ service learning experiences.

The $1,500 grant provided by The Project Give Foundation will allow a meaningful extension to traditional classroom curriculum at Lakeside Middle School. Money will directly fund student-developed and student-implemented service projects that address pressing community challenges, according Judy Kerez, a teacher at Lakeside.

Project Give is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to empowering and engaging middle school students in learning by taking an active role in serving their communities. Service learning is “a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities.”

Students have spent hours doing research for community needs and “how we may best serve both monetarily and by active community service,” Kerez said to Forsyth County School spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo in an email. Strengthening 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity will be a part of their real world experience.

Kerez, who teaches a “Skills for Adolescents” class, is helping students prepare toiletry care bags for the homeless as a focus of their service learning project through Project Give. Items can include toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, soap and many other non-aerosol items.

Collection of small-size toiletry items will continue through February.

For more information on donating items, contact Judy Kerez at