Rocky Run Students Give Back with a Day of Service

November 03, 2023

What’s the best way to end the first quarter? At Rocky Run, students spent the last day of the quarter engaging in meaningful service learning opportunities, coordinated by Advanced Academics Resource Teacher Anna Slevin. While the actual event is only one day, students and staff have been preparing for this day all year. Working with community partners, staff and students worked together to share the value of service and create meaningful ways for everyone to give back to the community. Eighth grade students raised over $9,000 for Rise Against Hunger and worked together to pack 22,088 meals for people worldwide living with food insecurity. All students were able to hear from speakers from the Travis Manion Foundation, learning about how they can have an impact on others with the slogan “If not me, then who?” Eighth grader Salia shared, “Today has changed my mindset about volunteering. Now I think more about the people than myself when I volunteer.”

In addition to our community service partners, we would also like to recognize the many individuals and companies that donated the funding to make this day possible. $9,031.15 was raised in all! Special thanks to our sponsors HMJ Dirt Works,  Pohanka Automotive, Wegmans, the Ed Lang Team, Gotta Go With Joe Realty, and Tru Orthodontics for their very generous donations.

Anna Slevin shared more about the inspiration for the day, "Our goal was to create authentic opportunities for all students to experience service learning, learn ways they can give back, and build their skills as ethical and global citizens." Students were actively engaged in activities throughout the day, thanks to help from our many amazing community partners. Our partner organizations included Rise Against Hunger, the Travis Manion Foundation, the Bluebell Chapter of the National Charity League, ReLeaf Fairfax, and Raising Responsible Citizens. Through these organizations, students learned ways that they can make a difference in their communities, live sustainably, and keep our community green and thriving. They provided both information and hands-on opportunities to serve with their peers. In other classes, students made cards for Operation Gratitude, seniors, hospitalized children, and veterans. Students cleaned up the grounds of Rocky Run, planted trees, removed invasive plants, and made kindness bracelets for the Kindness campaign. 

Principal Peter Kownacki shared, “Rocky Run’s Day of Service was a gigantic success. Kids were super motivated, involved, and engaged in ways to give back to the community. It was a great learning experience for all Rocky Run Rams.”

Finally, a reflection by one of our Rams, Suleiman, really sums up Rocky Run's first annual Day of Service. “When I first got into volunteering it was mostly just for service hours, but once I actually was able to experience it and actually know about the stuff I’m doing, where it’s going- like the food we packed for example, knowing where it’s going really changed my mindset on it. I’m happier to do it now, not just for the service hours but for helping people.”

We are proud of our students for engaging throughout the day, and Raising the Ram in all they do!