ShareThis Page

Shady Side Academy students celebrate King Jr. Day by serving the community

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 2:01 p.m.
The Herald
Sophie Abo, a junior at Shady Side Academy volunteered at the VA Hospital in O'Hara where she made and delivered root beer floats. Submitted

Students from Shady Side Academy didn't take the day off to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Instead, they “had the day on,” said Academy President Tom Cangiano. “Instilling the value of service has long been a hallmark of Shady Side Academy education.”

Nearly 325 students, staff and parents participated in hands-on service projects Jan. 21 around the region to mark the school's third annual MLK Day of Service.

Locally, students delivered sweet treats such as root beer floats to patients at the Heinz campus of the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System in O'Hara.

Others helped prepare handmade crafts for a party with patients at HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital in Indiana Township.

“It is important to us to be deliberate in finding ways for our students to engage with and serve the communities beyond our campus gates,” Cangiano said.

He said the day of service is a chance for all of those involved with the school to come together and be educated about social issues, engage in service and reflect on its impact.

More than a dozen students in the seventh through 12th grades visited HealthSouth last week.

There, under the direction of music teacher Stan Nevola, they prepared meals and crafts to provide a party for patients.

The interaction reaps significant benefits for both sides, Nevola said.

“It's important for us to all do something that is not financially rewarding but rewarding in another ways,” Nevola said.

“Many of our kids have done volunteering before, but this experience really helped them get what it means to help. Rather than stocking shelves, they worked with people firsthand who need their help. They saw the joy they brought.”

Last week's projects included making toiletry kits for Operation Walk patients in Honduras, which provides free hip and knee replacements to people in developing countries.

Students also prepared meals to be delivered to Bethlehem Haven Shelter, which provides transitional housing and other services to needy women.

Still others helped clean and organize books for the library at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and others built rain barrels for the Kingsley Center of East Liberty, a group dedicated to the rejuvenation of Pittsburgh's Larimer community.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.