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Seventh Graders Serve Others

Your school might teach science, math, reading, and social studies. My school does, too. But we also learn about kindness and giving back to the community. The seventh-grade students at my school, Valley Springs Middle School (VSMS) in North Carolina, are required to complete at least seven hours of community service. We then make a presentation about it, for which we earn a grade. Since we are in the seventh grade, and we complete seven hours of service, it’s called the 7x7 project.

Imani Dozier, a 13-year-old student at VSMS, volunteered at Brother Wolf, an animal rescue service. She joked that, “Throughout this enlightening experience, I have learned that canines are so much more work than I could have imagined.” Imani goes on to say what a big impact helping had not only on the recipients, but on her. “This experience has shown me a caring side of myself toward others that I never thought I had.”



Wendy Solms, a teacher at Valley Springs, was clearly happy at the amount of work the students did. They gave a total of 3,133 hours of service. “I could not be prouder," Solms said. "So many kids found their niche. They found something they were interested in, whether it was in their neighborhood, or in their churches, or some place where Mom or Dad worked.”

Students could earn extra credit by presenting their projects on a parents’ night. I talked to Julie Lovin, a parent of a seventh grader. She was excited about seeing what the students had done to help others. “Just a little bit of time makes a difference,” she said.

For my project, I held a bake sale to raise money for an organization that helps kids at risk of hunger. Like other students, I learned about the importance of giving back. The service assignment helped get us out and change the world—one 7x7 project at a time. I hope that by sharing our story we can be an inspiration to others. 

Photo courtesy of Susan Mundy