By Jessica Groover
Just to the right of the entrance inside the Community Free Clinic, there is a sign that says, “Kids Corner,” but the area previously had a table with a puzzle on it and some books. Now, thanks to the help from 11th grade students at Covenant Classical School last week, the clinic hopes to have a better area for children to wait for their parents.
Students in all grade levels from the Covenant Classical School participated during the last week in the second annual Serve-A-Thon, a fundraiser that raises money for the 10 percent gap in tuition costs.
Community Free Clinic was one of the locations students served, and it will also reap the benefits of the money raised for Serve-A-Thon. Five percent of the money raised will be donated to Community Free Clinic and five percent will go to Cooperative Christian Ministry.
This year’s fundraising goal was $23,000. Because students exceeded it, Michele Ward, director of development for the school, said the students raised enough money for Serve-A-Thon to most likely donate $2,500 total to both organizations.
On Tuesday, almost all of the 11th grade students from the school cleaned blinds and windows in the waiting room, applied chalkboard paint to a wall for children to draw on and cleaned the children’s area. The goal of the area is to have a place where children can watch videos, read and play games in the area.
“We know we have problems with kids at night keeping them occupied,” said Venetia Skahen, director of the Community Free Clinic. “I think it’s a great idea for the (Covenant students) because it gives them exposure of giving back, and that’s important for all young people.”
Many of the students who were serving at the clinic said they enjoyed giving back to the community. Getting out of school for it was not too bad either.
“It’s a good way for us to take a break and help our community,” said Natalie Benet, 16. “It’s teaching us not to just focus on ourselves and to work together.”
Doing the service as a class made the experience more enjoyable for the students because they were able to do it with their friends.
“It doesn’t feel like work,” said Megan Cross, 16.
At the same time on Tuesday, third, fourth, fifth and 12th grade students from the school were spreading bales of pine straw throughout North Cabarrus Park as part of their role in Serve-A-Thon.
Working at a park she usually visits made the service more meaningful for Becca Reese, 11. The Serve-A-Thon was so important to her that she collected between $200 and $500 from her friends and family.
“We need to save our economy and help our parks so kids can have fun,” Reese said.
Other Serve-A-Thon events in the last week included students performing for residents at Taylor Glen, Concord Place Assisted Living and Coltrane LIFE Center, and students cleaning the parking lot and grounds at Cooperative Christian Ministry.
• Contact reporter Jessica Groover: 704-789-9152.