Mehlville Summer Academy encourages students to have fun while serving others

Mehlville School District Summer Academy kindergartners, from left, Gavin Armistead, Teresa Laramie and Abby Weibel, participate in a beach-themed reading event on June 16 to raise money for the tornado victims in Joplin.

Mehlville School District Summer Academy kindergartners, from left, Gavin Armistead, Teresa Laramie and Abby Weibel, participate in a beach-themed reading event on June 16 to raise money for the tornado victims in Joplin.

Nearly 450 students from across the Mehlville School District and from several area parochial schools attended this year’s Elementary Summer Academy, where they enhanced their reading, writing and math skills in preparation for the upcoming school year.

To extend the district’s efforts at the end of the 2010-2011 school year to help the tornado victims in Joplin, the Summer Academy students took one day each week to donate money for their neighbors across the state. By contributing 50 cents each week, the elementary students and staff raised $441.71 for the American Red Cross’ fund for Joplin tornado victims.

“We make time each year during Summer Academy to do community service because we like to teach our students why it is important to give back to our community,” Summer Academy principal Kelly Picha stated in a news release. “This year, the people of Joplin really need our help.”

To collect money for the Joplin tornado victims, the Summer Academy hosted one themed day each week during the four-week session. Students donated 50 cents to participate in a hat day, beach-themed reading event, pajama day and patriotic day.