Thornton Academy Postscripts Alumni Magazine Winter 2007 - Page 6 The Value of Volunteerism F or more than 195 years, Thornton Academy has prepared students to take their place in the ever-changing world. Through a rigorous and broadbased program of academics, arts and athletic opportunities, each day Thornton’s faculty and staff challenge students to reach their potential in the hopes that they will become lifelong learners and productive members of the community. As such, Thornton Academy has a long tradition of giving back. We see it in the alumni who return to Thornton for reunions or volunteer for committees, boards and events. We see it in our faculty and staff, who give their time to mentor a student, coach an athletic team, lead an an extracurriular activity or advise a club. And we see it our students, who give their time and growing talents to give back to the immediate community, to our country, and to the world. From their experiences, students gain self-confidence, exercise leadership skills and strengthen their personal values. Here are a just a few of our students’ stories: Reach Out to Soldiers Class of 2000 alumna Tiffany Regan’s sixth grade class spent this past holiday season reaching out to America’s soldiers in the Middle East. After watching televised interviews with troops, the class was inspired to send care packages to help “[lift] the burden our soldiers carry.” After researching what items soldiers would most appreciate receiving, gifts including toiletries, drink mixes, batteries and toys for Iraqi children were donated by students and parents for the many care packages the class would be sending. As donations began to come in, the class realized they would need to formulate a way to tackle the cost of shipping their holiday gifts overseas. Through a bit of creative thinking, students created “Reach out to Soldiers” cards, which sold for .50 cents. Attached to the cards were small rocks, symbolizing the small weight lifted for a soldier receiving the students’ care packages. The fundraiser was a great success, with near $80 worth of rocks sold in only the first day. Vanessa Nason ’13 exclaimed that “one kid even bought $22 worth of rocks!” Thanks to the students’ generosity Regan’s students will be using the extra money raised through the fundraiser to purchase phone cards and other small supplies for soldiers. Regan’s class has shown that, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, it truly is better to give than to receive.  Students Liz Tangney ‘10 and Hayley Carter ‘09 prepare to wrap a holiday gift to give to a family in need. Photo by Caron Smith Pelletier ‘98. Helping Families for the Holidays For the ninth year Thornton Academy students and faculty joined in the spirit of the season by helping families in our region have a more joyful holiday season. Thornton received the names of families in need from The Salvation Army, and each class supported the families by donating holiday gifts. This year marked the first year students from Thornton’s new middle school participated in the effort. Thornton faculty members also supported the effort by assisting classes with donations and contributing small items for “stocking stuffers.” Melissa Small ’07, senior class president, has participated all four years she has attended Thornton. She believes that it is the “best thing Student Council does” and likes the addition of Melissa Small ‘07 and Lauren Titus ‘11 work side by side during the holiday gift wrapping session. Photo by Caron Smith Pelletier ‘98. the middle school students this year. It is nice to see the school come together for this,” says Small. “It’s great,” adds Lauren Titus ’11, middle school Student Council member, “to give to all the people and families. It feels ‘amazing!’” Collecting the gifts was only to first part of helping to bring a happy holiday the families. On, December 20, Student Council members from each class, grades 6 through 12 joined together to wrap all of the gifts. The Atkinson Dining Commons was overflowing with wrapping paper, tags and bows. Once wrapped, all the gifts were loaded into Thornton’s mini bus and onto the back of a pick up truck and delivered to the Salvation Army—making this another successful and fulfilling year! Sending Their Stories Overseas After learning about child labor and slavery in India, Uganda and throughout the modern world, the Art Club at Thornton’s middle school has joined in the project “Books of Hope.” The pro- gram sends student-made books to refugee camps, schools, orphanages and hospitals worlwide. Through the Books of Hope program, the middle school Art Club members will be sending the stories they have created overseas to children who have evaded or escaped the grip of slavery in Uganda and India. It is the hope that these books will not only provide distraction for children overseas, but that they will help Middle school Art Club members Angelina Gott ‘12 and Hannah Wessels ‘12 work diligently to design the books they will contribute to “Books of Hope.” Photo by Mitch Boutin ‘01. POSTSCRIPTS * WINTER 2007 children learn to read as many of them attempt to return to school often after spending years away from a classroom. The Thornton students have been very creative, writing books about many different subjects, including sports and childhood. Ellie Wiewel ’13 has created a “touch n’ feel” animal ABC book. She hopes to send her story to young children in Uganda because “it’s fun [to do] something for somebody else, and it’s fun knowing you’re doing it for a good cause.” At the time of the printing of Postscripts, the group hoped to have their books completed to pack and mail to children overseas by early March.