by Lisa Tome
Middle schoolers aren't the self-centered, unfeeling folks which television portrays them to be.
Instead, they are kind hearted adolescents according to staff at Rising Sun Middle School. RSMS students are taking care of others during the holiday season. Travis Benner is the school's assistant principal. "They do help out. They do have a heart," said Benner.
Members of the school's National Junior Honor Society took care of those near and far for the holidays. The NJHS provided all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner for a number of families in need within the school community. The NJHS helped the school's effort, filling six baskets for families in need.
They are also helping out with the annual Crouch Funeral Home Stocking for Soldiers program. Students from RSMS filled more than two dozen stockings for deployed military. Donations of items for the stockings were abundant. They also provided extra items which will be used to fill additional stockings.
Melissa Freel is an advisor for the National Junior Honor Society. She said the holiday helping went well and depleted the NJHS treasury.
"Middle school students want to help. They are sympathetic to the needs of others. It makes them feel good to do for others. They are very excited to help," said Freel.
Just in time for Christmas, as a way to build their funds, NJHS will sell ugly sweater holiday t-shirts. Those funds will help the NJHS pay for a planned butterfly garden at the school. They will also perform other service projects.
The National Junior Honor Society isn't the only group helping out this year. The school has a new Green Zone Club. According to Guidance Counselor Ashleigh Seccurro, one of the focal points for that club is to use empathy to put others first. The 14 member club sent Kindness Grams to students. "People tend to see them (middle school students) as selfish and self-centered. They want to help others. It's wonderful when you see those pieces (of helpfulness) connect," said Seccurro.
If the students in the building need an example to follow, they need only to look to their faculty. Rising Sun Middle School staff will buy items for school families in need by way of a giving tree which has been set up in the school guidance office.