SCH Students Jack Gaghan (right) and Owen DaVeiga (center) with O’Doodles owner Fran O’Donnell (left).

One key 21st century skill students at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy are learning through the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is the art of communication. That skill came into play this week on MLK Jr. Day of Service when second grade students in the school’s Lower School for Boys visited Germantown Avenue to make a pitch to store owners and managers about participating in a food collection effort for Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministries (G.A.C.M.). While the boys have been collecting food for GACM from within the SCH community for many years, this year, because of a severe shortage in food supplies, they decided to expand their efforts to include the larger Chestnut Hill community.

With the help of second grade teachers Gerri Allen and Ellen Ward, the boys identified the stores on the Avenue they would visit and then drafted a compelling message they hoped would convince the stores to participate. On Monday morning, students and parents constructed colorful collection boxes to place in the stores, then paid visits along Germantown Avenue to deliver their message of service. The boys’ communication skills must have been working well because they garnered 100% participation from the stores they visited.

Students Jack Gaghan and Owen DaVeiga made their pitch to O’Doodles owner Fran O’Donnell, who readily agreed to participate. Area residents can now contribute to the food collection effort by bringing non-perishable goods to the participating area businesses, including Chill on the Hill, Starbucks, Chestnut Hill Grill, Bone Appetite, and more. Look for the brightly papered blue and yellow boxes with signs reading “SCH + CH Food Cupboard for G.A.C.M.” The food will be collected weekly and delivered to G.A.C.M. to help feed hungry families.

In addition to the second grade boys, students from all five divisions of SCH Academy participated in various activities during the school’s 17th annual “DAY ON” of service, spanning out across the Philadelphia region to serve over 25 local organizations, including Cradles to Crayons, Friends of the Wissahickon, Audubon PA, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, United Cerebral Palsy, Meals on Wheels, Aid for Friends, several Philadelphia public schools, senior centers, and more.