Today, I have the opportunity to serve lunch along with members of my Student Advisory to families staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn. It's a rewarding feeling assisting these families as they go through what arguably is the most challenging time of their lives. Their children - some just days or weeks old - are battling complicated medical issues at the hospital across the street from the Ronald McDonald House.
With ingredients donated by students from Sandburg, Stagg and Andrew, the student representatives, Andrew Principal Bob Nolting and I are able to take one concern - what's for lunch - off the minds of these families. The meal we serve provides sustenance so they can remain focused on the care of their ill children. They are always incredibly grateful for the meal.
As you know, service learning is a strong component of a District 230 education. While the graduation requirement is 24 hours, our students step up and provide a far greater number of hours to our local community. For example, last year's graduating class dedicated 137,397 service learning hours over their four years of high school. This is nearly three-times the required number of hours! For their service, 210 of last year's graduates earned the Cook County Sheriff's Award that is presented to students who dedicate more than 100 service hours in a year.
This is just one way our students learn the importance of being contributing members of society. The provide much needed service and learn the value of giving back to a community that supports them.