DOVER — Students from Central Middle, Dover High and Holy Cross schools received the prestigious Jefferson Award for outstanding service in the community through Phase 1 of the LEAD360 Challenge during Monday's council meeting.
Mayor Robin Christiansen presented the students with the award, which is the country’s longest-standing and most prestigious organization dedicated to encouraging and celebrating public service.
Launched in 2010, the program has recognized more than 5,000 Delaware youths in 233 service projects in collaboration with the offices of six mayors, including Dover, Georgetown, Lewes, Newark, Seaford and Wilmington.
This year, 41 service projects were submitted statewide. Dover’s six projects engaged 317 volunteers, contributed 347 hours of service and affected 1,395 lives. The projects had a financial impact of $7,825 to the city and surrounding area.
“This is the fifth year of LEAD360,” said Sam Beard, president and co-founder of the Jefferson Awards. “Our goal is to inspire students to lead in service. Once again, Delaware has distinguished itself by these great projects.”
The Senators in Action Club at Central Middle School has made a commitment to helping the less fortunate in its community, with special attention given to those with Alzheimer’s and hospitalized veterans.
Members meet Friday afternoons to work together to make a difference in the lives of others. They have completed many different projects over the school year.
The Communities in Schools group at Dover High School will complete a service-learning course aimed at teaching students the value of community service as a way to learn and as a way to help their communities.
The course also will earn students college credit. This year, the students will focus on global hunger and food insecurities, partnering with the Food Bank of Delaware to give students hands-on experience.
The Dover High School Interact Club is hosting an event called Little Dresses for Haiti, with a goal to sew 50 to 100 dresses for children in Haiti.
The dresses will be created from donated new pillowcases, and handmade by students in the club.
The Dover High School JROTC and AFJROTC cadets volunteered at the Monster Mash Marathon last October, which benefits the Wounded Warriors Project.
The cadets assisted in providing runners with water, sports drink and energy packs. They also organized a toy drive for Toys for Tots in December. They exceeded their goal of 300 toys, collecting 404 toys for children in Kent County.
The Holy Cross Knitting Club, founded by Raegan Garnsey and Montana Johansen, is a group of students in first to eighth grades who meet twice a month to knit hats for cancer patients. The club has donated more than 324 hats both domestically and internationally.
“There is no program that better reflects the principles of the Jefferson Awards, reaching out to so many people, than the Holy Cross Knitting Club,” said Mayor Christiansen in statement.
“As a member of Holy Cross Parish I am familiar with this worthy venture and the achievements of many of the knitters personally.
“As both a parishioner and as the mayor,” he said, “I am very proud of the club and the difference they make in our community, particularly to those at the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center.”