ShareThis Page

Conference teaches Shady Side Academy students about serving others

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Shady Side Academy students took part in the middle school’s first Global Action Conference Day, learning about service to people and places in need. These students spent some time sorting and packing canned goods.

Shady Side Academy students left the books behind in the classroom and instead were treated to a day of service learning during the middle school's first Global Action Conference Day last month.

About 230 students in grades six through eight participated in the hands-on program aimed at teaching youngsters about social issues and service efforts.

“The goal of the day was to raise awareness and educate students about social issues while coming together as a school community to impact local and global change,” said communications specialist Jen Roupe.

The guest speaker was Amiena Mahsoob, director of education programs for the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. The group was founded in 1931 to promote a deeper understanding of international issues and their relevance to the region.

Roupe said students were split into grade-level groups for educational sessions led by leaders of nonprofit organizations such as Haitian Families First, Brother's Brother and the Homeless Children's Education Fund. Then, students participated in activities to help people impacted by the issues they learned about, Roupe said.

Sixth-graders focused on Haiti, creating pictures for their peers in the poverty-stricken country as well as no-sew fleece blankets for hospital patients there.

They also played online games on websites that donate rice and other food to the United Nations World Food Program.

Seventh-graders listened to issues affecting Africa and crafted soccer balls from recycled materials, packed donated sports equipment to ship and made cards for children there.

They also made care packages with toiletries to send for disaster relief.

Roupe said eighth-grade students focused on families in the region, with activities that included boxing canned goods for local food banks, making holiday cards for senior citizen shut-ins and participating in a simulated game about choices people living in poverty have to make.

“After, students met to reflect on what they had learned and generate ideas for how to continue their service efforts for the rest of the year,” Roupe said.

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.