Franklin, MA- The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) is excited to announce members of Hingham High School as the winner of the second half of the 2021-2022 MIAA Community Service Challenge! Members of the MIAA Student Advisory Committee reviewed 123 incredible submissions before selecting the winner.
Over 250 students and adults participated in the annual “Harbormen Helping Hingham” community service day on April 14, 2022, which was coordinated by Hingham High School History Teacher, Ben Louchheim. The projects varied from cleaning up the beach area at Barnes Wharf, to weeding, cleaning out the animal stalls and helping with the herb garden at Weir River Farm.
Other activities seniors participated in included weeding, planting, and mulching at Plymouth River, Foster, and East School gardens; composting and weeding at Holly Hill Farm; helping to revamp the Hingham Historical Society’s archives and other efforts; removing, replacing, and installing metal grave markers in several area cemeteries in preparation for Memorial Day; writing and filming public service announcements for Hingham CARES about making healthy choices; a Spring cleanup at South School; cleaning up the Hingham High School courtyards and painting benches, putting out silverware and utensils for lunch, and cleaning out and sorting sports equipment, among other jobs; helping with the Hingham High School composting effort; assisting with a workshop for Greek essay topics at the Middle School; spreading mulch around the Recreation Department barn; performing a Spring cleanup on the tunnel cap in downtown Hingham, including raking, trimming and mulching — working with the Hingham Downtown Association; spreading wood chips around the Bradley Woods playground; and serving as teacher’s assistants for the day, which involved 75 to 80 of the seniors.
Hingham High School Principal, Rick Swanson reflected on the magnitude of this service project. “When I spoke to our seniors at their graduation ceremony, I talked about how our school strives not only to help students understand the world, but, even more importantly, we hope to inspire them to improve the world. The annual ‘Harbormen Helping Hingham’ project illustrates that mission as well as anything we do. Thanks to effective leadership from a visionary teacher, broad support from many community partners, and the enthusiastic participation of our whole senior class, this event has become a model, every spring, of what our school aims to achieve year round.”
Ben Louchheim, who is a teacher and the event organizer stated, “This project gives students a feeling of empowerment. It shows a community’s care and desire to improve their town. It also shows the “nooks and crannies” of wonder in Hingham. Such as the Hingham Historical Society or the cemeteries of fallen soldiers who we put up flags for Memorial Day.”
Louchheim continued, “Students also get to say thank you in various ways, such as being a teacher’s assistant for the day for their favorite teacher or helping clean up the playground of their former elementary school. Seniors get to work with students who would not be their first choice and get to know them differently. They also meet community members who are the lifeblood of this town. Students get to see, feel and hear the difference they made. It is a rewarding experience.”
Click here to review the full write-up.
The MIAA is grateful for the continued partnership with Team Up 4 Community (TU4C) that began in March 2021. The partnership encourages schools to submit their projects online providing sports teams the opportunity to showcase community service projects, demonstrating their commitment and impact on the community.
A total of 284 community service projects were submitted between August and May of this school year. With 11,555 student-athletes participating in some type of community service project. In total, $257,788 was raised for charitable causes with 44,332 hours donated by MIAA student-athletes, with an estimated value of $374,605 in time served. Incredible acts of service and leadership on display throughout the year!
A presentations of this award will take place at Hingham High School on Friday, June 24, 2022.
Please be reminded that the 2022-23 service challenge will begin next August!
Thank you to all MIAA member schools and student-athletes who participated in this years’ service challenge. To view all projects submitted, click here.