New Southampton High class was a success

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 31, 2007

To the Editor:

During the 2006-07 school year, a new class was offered at Southampton High School to rising seniors called Senior Achievement.

There were three purposes in mind when the class was developed: Pair senior students with ninth-graders identified at risk, in hopes of easing the pain of transitioning from middle to high school; assist seniors in transitioning from high school to &uot;the real world&uot; with success; and encourage community involvement as a &uot;give back&uot; instead of &uot;give me&uot; mentality.

During the second semester, the Senior Achievement class selected what is known as the &uot;Any Soldier&uot; project as their class project.

Under the direction of four class elected supervisors, these 30 seniors organized themselves, branched out to every school in Southampton County, and went into the community for monetary support as well as product donations.

They eventually shipped 1,082 pounds of supplies to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Elementary, middle and high school students donated personal hygiene items, entertainment items and food to the project.

Community efforts helped the class raise more than $2,000 used for the cost of shipping many a truckload of carefully packaged items to the troops overseas.

Letters of thanks and gratitude are now coming back to the class instructor from our men and women fighting for freedom.

Many have taken the time to write to the class, sharing what it is like to be away from home, without many items we take for granted.

Most compare it to Christmas morning, when their name is unexpectedly called during mail call and they get a box filled to the brim with supplies and surprises.

As the class instructor, I would like to take this opportunity to thank every person, business, principal, student, teacher and parent who supported our project in any way.

The project was extremely large and not without its problems, but I know that every one of the 30 seniors (now graduates) involved will never forget what they had a part in achieving.

Never underestimate the power of a young person given a mission they are committed to accomplishing. Those of us in schools see it every day. At SHS, we will be passing the torch to our 2007-08 seniors, knowing they will rise to the challenge and equal or surpass our first goal in their Senior Achievement projects.

Jacqueline P. Harris

Senior Achievement instructor

Southampton High School