Eddie Collins, Andrew Murphy among 41 Maryland “Service Stars”
On Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Eddie Collins and Andrew Murphy, both students at Allegany High School, were honored at a reception held at the Douglass-Myers Maritime Museum for their outstanding service to their communities. The ceremony was hosted by the Maryland State Department of Education. Collins and Murphy were among 41 students throughout Maryland who were recognized at 2011 Service Stars.
For more than a decade, Maryland has led the nation in implementing quality service-learning as a graduation requirement for students. Service-learning is in-context learning that connects specific educational goals with meaningful community service. Allegany County Public Schools require a total of 75 service-learning credit hours for graduation.
Eddie Collins excels not only in academics, but also in his commitment to service-learning. He has volunteered more than 500 hours of his time over the past three years to a local fire company. Eddie helps save lives as well as helps the fire company give back to the community by assisting with Toys for Happiness, handing out fire extinguishers to the community, and making repairs at the fire station. He hopes to make a career as a firefighter.
Andrew Murphy has gone above and beyond helping his community through his extensive service-learning activities. As the president of Allegany High School’s student council, he has organized numerous fundraisers for the Salvation Army, the Western Maryland Food Bank, Toys for Happiness, Pennies for Patients, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, and the Special Olympics. Andrew has accrued more than 900 credit hours through his service-learning endeavors. He is a true leader and has encouraged hundreds of students and community members to also give back to their communities.
Allegany County Public Schools employ high school service-learning coordinators to provide opportunities to meet service-learning requirements. Service-learning projects include a dual focus – the goals of academic learning and the goals of authentic volunteer projects. Students learn course content as well as skills as they develop empathy, personal ethics, and the habit of helping their communities. It is a vital part of education because it helps translate classroom lessons into life lessons. Maryland’s service-learning is just one more reason that Maryland public schools have been once again ranked number one in the nation.