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Students learn role in society
MLK effort readies thousands of utensils
JEN 0059
Some students added notes, jokes and drawings to their wraps. - photo by Jennifer Sami
There were 10,000 reasons for nearly 300 Liberty Middle School sixth-graders to smile as they piled into the cafeteria Thursday morning.

With a little teacher encouragement and some supplies, students in the Skills, Organization, Advisement, Relationship Building and Reflection program, or SOAR, wrapped 10,000 sets of plasticware.

The utensils will be donated to the Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless for use at this year’s Easter meal.

SOAR teachers turned to Hands on Forsyth for a list of needs the students could work on, and it so happened they were in time for the third annual Hands on Forsyth Martin Luther King Junior Day of Service.

Thursday’s assembly allowed the students to formally hand the fruits of their labor over to the Forsyth County Community Connection, which operates Hands on Forsyth.

“We had more of you working on this project than any other one of our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service projects,” Nicole McCoy told the students.

McCoy, executive director of Community Connection, said the wraps amount to actual people in need in the community and surrounding area.

“We want to encourage you every day to just give a little bit of your time,” she said. “And slowly but surely, it will build up, and you will be able to make a tremendous impact as we hope that you all can see that you have done today.”

In addition to a fork, spoon, knife and napkin, students also tied notes, drawings and jokes on the bundles.

“Our SOAR class split in half and half of them did the cards and half of them did the wrapping,” Paige Weiler said. “I just created cards and we put jokes on the back of them.

“I just wanted to help because some people just aren’t as fortunate as us. It was fun and it was a great project to do.”

Katilyn Wright handled the wrapping.

“I wanted to be involved because I want to help the people that don’t have as much as me,” she said.

SOAR teacher Carole Ekerberg said she was overwhelmed with the students’ efforts, especially the time they took to include personal messages and artwork.

“One of the things that I stressed to all of my sixth-grade teachers … is that first, we are here to educate, but I think that it is truly important to make sure to teach [students] citizenship,” she said.

“I think that they must know their role in society ... it is just as big to teach them academics as it is to teach them citizenship and what it means to help others and to be a good citizen.”

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