Springfield Middle School students spent an entire day serving the community. (Contributed photos)

Springfield Middle School students started Thanksgiving Week off by making a positive impact in the community.

   The student body of 684 students embarked on a day of service, partnering Monday with 26 local organizations and spreading out among the organizations to engage in service learning projects.

“The experience was eye opening,” said Siya, an eighth grader. “The Pearl helped me understand what elderly people and their families deal with daily. At first it made me sad, then I saw how happy they were to see us.”

Harshitha, another eighth grader, said, “This was very different because I had the chance to be exposed to a lifestyle that I am not used to. The people there taught me to live life and be independent.”

The partnerships include:

• Ronald McDonald House

• Anne Springs Close Greenway

• Operation Christmas Child’

• Samaritan’s Feet

• Habitat for Humanity

• Fort Mill Schools

• Pathways of Rock Hill

• Keystone Substance Abuse Center of York County

• And others. (Story continues below)

Planning and organizing the day of service has been a large undertaking led by a group of 7th and 8th graders, according to a district press release. The students have researched local organizations, called businesses, and arranged opportunities with the different groups. 

Following Monday’s service-learning project, students planned to spend the day reflecting on how their experience creates compassion for others and the community. In each class, students will create an artifact showcasing how each subject area relates to their service project.

A digital portfolio will be created by each student highlighting their new knowledge.

Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...