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Attention: Good deeds by young people listed here

Posted 5/6/14

A caller to this week’s Sound Off column took us to task for not reporting on a recent Middletown Area High School event – and ignoring the positive things that students do. “Too often, the reporting is only on the negative,’’ the …

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Attention: Good deeds by young people listed here

Posted

caller to this week’s Sound Off column took us to task for not reporting on a recent Middletown Area High School event – and ignoring the positive things that students do. “Too often, the reporting is only on the negative,’’ the caller complained.

 

We would disagree. We love to tell the stories of students who do positive things, who achieve in school – not just on athletic fields, but also in classrooms. When members of the Middletown football team raised money for Christmas gifts for needy local residents, we featured it on our front page. When 8-year-old Stephanie Harvey, a Kunkel Elementary School student, overcame her shyness to raise more than $2,000 for the Jump Rope for Heart event at her school, we featured it on our front page. When Steelton-Highspire High School students coordinated an impressive presentation to persuade the school board to change the venue of this year’s commencement – and succeeded – we featured it on our front page. We’ve promoted the spring play presented by Middletown, Lower Dauphin and Steelton-Highspire high schools on our front pages.

 

We love that stuff.

 

We do agree that young people generally get a bad rap that is unjustified. And this is the season where they prove in a grand way that they’re caring, concerned and focused.

 

Each year, some schools in our area hold a “Mini-THON,’’ a smaller version of Penn State’s celebrated THON, to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

 

These dance marathons raise a mind-blowing amount of money, and involve a countless number of students, teachers, school administrators and parents.

 

Lower Dauphin held its Mini-THON in March and raised  more than $60,000. Middletown held its Mini-THON on May 3, featuring a number of side events to raise money.

 

 Senior students competed in a Mr. Middletown pageant to raise funds, while two teachers allowed students paying $1 to duct tape them to a wall.

 

 Principal Michael Carnes agreed to be a target in a water balloon fundraiser.

 

Middletown raised $16,720.14 in its Mini-THON. We’ve put that success on A1 in this issue.

 

Even South Hanover Elementary School holds a Mini-THON. In February, students raised $23,000.

 

The Penn State THON, which started it all, raised more than $13 million this year. The event, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, has raised more than $114 million since 1977.

 

Perhaps its tradition for older generations to wonder whether young people have compassion for others. Do young people care about others? About society? About the world?

 

What we have learned from school administrators, parents, teachers and students themselves is that they are much more aware of the world around them than some people may think. We've met students at career days who are focused on their future, on contributing to a better world.

 

Children perform good deeds that often don’t get publicized. We like to publicize them when we learn about them. We’re looking forward to the next story about such efforts.

  

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