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Freshmen, seniors volunteer during ‘ACT Day’

Madison students weed and spade CASA’s Community Garden off Bob Wallace Ave. in Huntsville. CONTRIBUTED
Madison students weed and spade CASA’s Community Garden off Bob Wallace Ave. in Huntsville. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – No one can say that Madison’s high school students were idle on April 19.

On that day, sophomores and juniors in Madison City Schools took the ACT or Aspire testing (ASPIRE replaced Alabama Reading and Math Test or AMRT).

Freshmen and seniors, who weren’t involved with testing, were allowed to pursue “enrichment options” in off-campus activities with community groups and institutions, John Peck said. Peck is the district’s manager of public relations.

“Madison City Schools implemented this alternative class day several years ago because of strict ACT testing requirements, like proctors and silent buildings during testing,” Peck said. “The parameters made school building management difficult.”

Freshmen and seniors had many enrichment options to choose. Some teenagers helped with unloading and organizing donations at the Asbury Community Thrift Store.

Others volunteered at Huntsville Animal Shelter and Kids to Love Foundation, which serves foster children. Some of the youth assembled food packets at Asbury United Methodist Church for the weekend backpack program to feed needy students.

Students also could devote the day to visiting a historic or educational site, like an art museum or U.S. Space & Rocket Center, and reporting on it; attend tutoring; visit a college campus; or take a study session for an advanced-placement course.

The Brook church’s Lunches of Love program attracted some freshmen and seniors. For outdoor work, students hoed and tended to CASA’s Community Garden in Huntsville. Some volunteered at Madison Public Library, Lincoln Village and Manna House.

Students had to register their volunteer preference several weeks ago.

The schools provided transportation. Teacher chaperones were on-site, also.

“Learning isn’t limited to inside the four walls of a school building,” superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said. “In Madison City, we’re very serious about giving back to the community and this is one way we can do that.”

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