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Metro Newsroom

Public Schools Make Major Commitment to Give A Day Week of Service

Thursday March 29, 2012

Student projects at over 100 JCPS schools, summer book drive planned

Students will visit nursing homes, Kosair Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. Others will write letters to troops overseas, tutor younger students and collect school supplies for victims of the recent tornadoes. It’s all part of a major effort by the Jefferson County Public Schools in support of Mayor Greg Fischer’s Give A Day week of community service, April 14-22.

Students at more than 130 schools, elementary to high school, will be engaged in volunteer projects of all kinds on school campuses and throughout the community.

“Students and staff at every level have all stepped up to make a difference in our community,” said Dr. Donna Hargens, JCPS superintendent. “Teaching students to be active, productive members of their community is one of the greatest lessons we can deliver.”

“With 98,000 students and 18,000 employees, JCPS is one of our city’s flagship organizations, and this is a super commitment to caring,” Fischer said. “Young people can be incredibly creative and compassionate and it’s exciting to see these students of all ages stepping up and setting an example for all of us.”

The school district is also asking the community to support a book drive designed to make sure every elementary and middle school student will have grade-level reading material to take home this summer.

"Many students don’t have access to grade-level reading materials during the summer break and a book donation can help change that,” Hargens said.

Books from an approved reading list can be purchased and dropped off at any elementary or middle school. The list of books is available on at the “volunteer for an existing project” link.

The mayor’s goal for the Give A Day week of service is to set a world’s record for caring – with at least 55,000 volunteers and acts of compassion.

Fischer said there are still nearly 190 projects of all kinds that need volunteers and he urged individuals, companies and organizations to go to the website: to select a project and sign up.

"Through our Volunteer Connection we are excited to help organize volunteers and projects for Give A Day and we urge people to go to the website,” said Joe Tolan, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “At Metro United Way, we create connections, get commitments, and help focus energies around our common goals. We believe that by focusing on one of the building blocks for a good life – education – we can actually impact the other two building blocks of financial stability and health.”

People may also use the website to report their own community service and have it count toward the Give A Day week total.

In addition to school students, volunteer work will come from troops of Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, churches, neighborhood associations and city agencies including police, fire, corrections and parks. Brightside will be recruiting volunteers for its city-wide cleanup on April 14. Student-athletes from the University of Louisville and Bellarmine will tackle projects and military veterans will be helping at the VA hospital.

Also, employee teams from companies such as Yum Brands, Humana, Brown-Forman, Chase Bank, Kindred, Ford Motor Co., LG&E, Semonin Realtors, Dow Chemical, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs, ResCare, Oxmoor Auto Group, Sam Swope Auto Group, DMI Furniture and others will be working throughout Louisville.

Giving opportunities available to everyone during Give A Day week include:

· Giving blood at more than a dozen American Red Cross blood drive locations,

· Dropping off cans of food for Dare to Care at local Kroger stores, and

· Donating shoes to EDGE Outreach at locations throughout the city. The shoes will be sent to needy children and adults around the world.

Fischer said having Give A Day week as the lead-up to the world-famous Kentucky Derby Festival helps put Louisville’s caring deeds in the spotlight.

“We know very well the importance of volunteers and we’re very excited to have ‘Give A Day’ as part of the official Festival schedule,” said Mike Berry, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival.