High School Students Lend A Hand

EDISON — On May 18, three groups of seniors embarked on community service projects. The Wardlaw-Hartridge School Class of 2011 helped at the American Red Cross in Somerville, Habitat for Humanity in Plainfield and Homefirst in Scotch Plains.

The seniors were accompanied by faculty and staff members including Dawn Francavilla, Roland Marionni, Alessandra Cozzi, Gale Goldman and Jeff Heiss, husband of Katherine Heiss, third grade teacher. The student volunteers all made a difference in the community.


One group had a productive day at the American Red Cross, Greater Somerset Chapter in Somerville. Despite the clouds and the threat of rain, the students were able to accomplish a number of tasks to help clean up designated areas. There were teams of students planting flowers, while others were cleaning a screened-in porch area and making it handicap accessible. A few others cleaned Red Cross vehicles and also helped to organize the garage where all disaster supplies are stored.

“The sense of accomplishment was fulfilling after the work was completed,” said Dawn Francavilla, Director of Student Life. “I enjoyed working with the students at my home Chapter and watching the positive energy being shared by all. It was a great day giving back to the community!”

“It was great to see our students working together for the good of the community,” said Gale Goldman, Upper School art teacher who supervised the students with Cozzi at Homefirst. “The idea of the working poor having access to fresh organic produce is just a wonderful thing!”

Another group spent the day reorganizing the warehouse at Habitat for Humanity.

Michael Gurzo of Habitat for Humanity sent the following e-mail to Marionni and Heiss after the seniors spent the day working at his facility: “Thanks so much for coming out today to help us reorganize and clean out our warehouse. I’m sorry that weather wasn’t more cooperative, but nonetheless we are all so happy with how much you got done.”

Eleven Wardlaw-Hartridge School seniors worked on their community service project at the American Red Cross in Somerville. (Photo courtesy of Wardlaw-Hartridge School)

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