Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Students build character through service projects

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GREENSBORO – The Guilford County school system is doing its part to make sure families in the Triad have a place to call home. School leaders and students began the first of a series of service projects throughout the community.

"Our superintendent wants this to be a way that he can leave a mark on the county," said Brenda Elliott-Johnson.

Guilford County Schools employees and students say it's a mission to learn more about life outside the classroom.

"Research says that if you can get young people to start giving at a young age, then they will be more involved more in their community, they will care more about their community and they will give forever," said Johnson. "So our goal is to increase the young people that have this as a value to give and to serve their community."

Johnson is the executive director of student services for Guilford County Schools. She is just one of the many staff members who is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity to build a new home for one Guilford County family.

"If you volunteer, you're always learning something," said Ricky Lewis, a teacher at Dudley High School. "In class, part of our objective is to get the kids to be good citizens more so than making an A on the test.”

It's just one reason Lewis is rounding up students like Dominique Gilmer to help build the Greensboro home.

"I just woke up and he was at the front door," said Gilmer. Gilmer had never heard of Habitat for Humanity, but that didn't stop him from showing up bright and early to lend a helping hand.

"It's fun and it's a great way to learn and experience the world," said Gilmer.

School leaders say it will take about 20 weeks to complete the house. They hope to move the family into their home by late July.

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