Skyline Service Fair showcases volunteer opportunities

Karen Patterson from the Humane Society attended the first-ever Skyline Service Fair. The fair was part of the school's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations, and encouraged students to give back to their communities.

Seventeen service organizations set up booths at Skyline High School yesterday to take part in the school’s first-ever Service Fair.

Skyline teacher Toni Burton said the fair is part of the school’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations, and shows students the importance of service. Teacher Nicole Barrett also helped organize the event.

The booths were set up in the cafeteria, and students visited the fair with their Sky Time classes (which is similar to homeroom). With so many organizations present, students could find volunteer opportunities to fit their interests, such as learning to train animals at the Humane Society, helping take care of trees at the Ann Arbor Nature Conservancy, or donating time to the Michigan Theater.

“This is one of the first times I’ve been in a high school, in terms of a volunteer fair, which is a very cool initiative that I hope spreads,” said Alex Garnepudi, who represented the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. “It’s very important to engage young people in the idea of service and giving back to the community.”

Gerda Paschal, the assistant manager of the downtown shop Ten Thousand Villages, talked with many excited students. “We’ve had high school students as volunteers before, but there wasn’t an organized effort to get these opportunities out to students, so this (fair) is really wonderful,” she said.

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