Cool to win, cooler to serve

Jul. 01, 2013 @ 05:53 AM

It was shiny, red and new. And for one graduate, it was free.
Vann York Auto Mall donated a Honda, the grand prize at Guilford County Schools’ Cool to Serve event Sunday.
The 744 seniors who completed at least 100 hours for the district’s service-learning program were invited. In total, $40,000 worth of Apple products were given away.
“I’m a firm believer in celebrating students who do well,” said Superintendent Mo Green.
The event is similar to Cool to Be Smart, which rewards students who excel in advanced classes.
“It’s part of our Strategic Plan to put character development on the same level as academic achievement,” Green said. “Both are so important.”
Students who earned the most hours and created the most impactful project in each region were recognized.
After the event, students with at least 225 hours of service were randomly called in groups and chose a key from a bucket.
When Whitnee Holmes of Greensboro tried her key in the car door, the horn started honking and the door unlocked.
“I’m so glad I did this,” she said of her service. She said of winning, “It feels amazing.”
The students’ 260,000 hours of service left an economic impact of $5.4 million.

Why they serve:
“If somebody gave to you, in the same way you want to give back.”
— Christian Wilcots, Andrews graduate
“I liked being able to work with my hands and to serve others through example.”
— Tyson Batts, High Point Central graduate, of building houses with his church