Students earn more than 15,000 community service hours

Cave Creek Unified School District students receive accolades for their commitment to community service. (submitted photo)

Through a “Superintendent’s Challenge” started in the 2012-13 school year, students in the Cave Creek Unified School District have been donating thousands of hours of community service within the community.

Superintendent Dr. Debbi Burdick implemented the challenge in 2012-13 with Cactus Shadows High School and Sonoran Trails Middle School students, according to a press release. CSHS students who earned 200 hours of community service by their senior year would receive an honor cord to wear at graduation.

In the 2014-15 year, Dr. Burdick furthered the challenge for CSHS students by offering a varsity letter for any student who completed 200 volunteer hours in one school year.

“Completing 200 hours of community service on top of academic responsibilities and membership in clubs and athletics is meaningful, yet hard work, and so deserving of a Varsity Letter,” Dr. Burdick stated in the press release. “The students who complete 200+ hours are an inspiration to their peers and adults in our community.”

Sonoran Trails Middle School Students, seventh and eighth grades, needs to accrue 25 hours for each school year to complete the challenge for that school year. The seventh grade students receive a certificate and pin and are recognized by the superintendent at their awards ceremony, the press release stated.

The eighth grade students are recognized by the superintendent at their promotion ceremony with a certificate and medal.

In the 2014-15 school year, the challenge was opened up for the fifth and sixth grades at all five CCUSD elementary schools.

The elementary students who accrue 15 hours in one school year are recognized by the superintendent with a certificate.

“It is great being in a district that realizes the importance of developing children academically, as well as socially and emotionally,” Black Mountain Elementary School Principal Matt Owsley said in the press release.

“Not only do we talk about character, but we value actions that are at the foundation of great character.”

Here are the grand totals of community service hours, given back to the community by CCUSD students, for the 2016-17 school year:

  • Class of 2017:  2,648
  • Class of 2018: 2,220.25
  • Class of 2019:  2,023.68
  • Class of 2020:  1,528.8
  • STMS 8th Grade:  1,157.4
  • STMS 7th Grade: 1,546.2
  • CCUSD 6th Grade:  1,993.45
  • CCUSD 5th Grade: 2,403.33

The grand total for community service adds up to 15,521.11 hours, the press release stated.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our 330 CCUSD students who met the challenge and gave back over 15,000 hours of service to our community,” Dr. Burdick said in the press release. “They are raising the bar for the future and are exemplars for our younger students — congratulations!”

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