CAA Turns Out For Service

Paintbrushes, shovels, rakes, and strong backs recently became curriculum tools, as 99 students from Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) participated in an all-school, community service day.

Principal Berit von Pohle said the purpose of the yearly project is to help students understand ways they can make an impact in the area.

Students in grades 9-12 participated in eight projects around southwest Washington and Portland, including clearing brush at the Vancouver Water Resource Center, helping residents at Fishers Landing Assisted Living Community, and doing maintenance projects at the Battle Ground branch of Head Start.

Columbia Adventist Academy students and staff participate in seven service days yearly, two with the entire school, one for each class, and one volunteer day each spring. About 75 percent of the students participate in the voluntary day, said von Pohle.

At the Head Start Center, a federally funded preschool that works with low-income families, students filled sandboxes, weeded, gardened, spread bark dust, and painted a tool shed and cabinet.

Vice principal Ed Tillotson worked alongside the group from 9 a.m. until about 2 p.m.—a regular school day.

“The kids are really enthusiastic about helping out,” Tillotson said. “They learn a little and get to give back to the community.”

Juniors Michelle Hamby, Heather Tavasci, and Brittany Prahl spent most of the morning shoveling and carting sand for the school’s sandbox.

The morning felt hot, they said, but they enjoyed the work and working out their faith in a practical way by helping others.

“It makes you feel good,” said Prahl, wiping sweat off her forehead. “And the preschool kids will really appreciate it later.”

January 01, 2003 / Oregon Conference