Rising Stars Service Program a great opportunity for South Windsor students
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Wed., Apr. 3, 2013
South Windsor middle school and high school students who have some free time this summer and who want to give back to the community will have several opportunities to do so. The South Windsor Youth and Family Services is offering the Rising Stars Summer Community Service Program for the seventh year in a row. Stars, which stands for South Windsor Teens Assisting, Respecting and Sharing, is a program for youths, ages 13 to 18, which provides a structured, supervised setting for youths to perform community service in the town.
“It's a community service-based program where we work mainly with the Park and Rec. Department two days a week,” said Jo-Ann Ciccaglione, program coordinator for the South Windsor Teen Center. Service projects can include spreading mulch at town parks or other maintenance work. Volunteers frequently work with Foodshare, and in the past have worked at Barney Farm in South Windsor, which grows food exclusively for Foodshare. This year, participants will be serving at Foodshare's Regional Market in Hartford.
There are other recreational and socializing opportunities during the program, as well. “The kids go on the ropes course one day during the session, and that builds leadership and team-building skills. We also do team-building games with them one day,” said Ciccaglione.
Participants also go on a group hike and may play outdoor sports at the end of the day. “It's pretty diversified, where kids get a little of everything,” she said. Their involvement at town buildings also provides opportunities for the participants to learn about local government.
There are four sessions for the Stars program. Each session is two weeks long, from Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For middle school students, the sessions are July 1 to July 11, and July 29 to Aug. 8. For high school students, the sessions are July 15 to July 25, and Aug. 12 to Aug. 22. Lunch is provided, and morning and afternoon transportation is available for a fee.
“They're great kids,” Ciccaglione said. “The may start not knowing each other, but by the end of the session, they're great friends.”
For more information or to enroll, contact Ciccaglione at 860-648-6360.