Cleveland School wins Celtics ASSISTS Award
BOSTON - The Boston Celtics selected the Grover Cleveland Middle School's "Lend-A-Hand" program as the recipient of this year's Southwest ASSISTS community service contest. The "Lend-A-Hand" students will be rewarded with a trip to Washington, D.C.
The "Lend-A-Hand" program features a team of students from the Dorchester school volunteering every Friday at the Kit Clark Senior Services Program. Students and the school's Student Support Coordinator, Phillip Robinson, who also founded the program, serve seniors their lunch, spend time with the seniors, talking about current events and overall enjoying each other's company.
"The students have developed a tremendous amount of respect and affinity for the seniors," said Mr. Robinson. "They very much look forward to the visit every Friday and I know that the seniors do as well. We believe in our community and want our students to have an impact beyond their academic achievements."
Cleveland Principal Andrew Tuite said the community service award is a great honor for the school.
"I could not be more proud of our students," said Mr. Tuite. "They have really embraced the concept of giving back and are wonderful ambassadors of the Cleveland and the Boston Public Schools."
Mr. Robinson and Mr. Tuite, along with two other staff members from the Cleveland, will accompany the 16 students to Washington D.C on Wednesday, June 25th for the entire day.
The Southwest ASSISTS program is a partnership between the Boston Celtics, Southwest Airlines and the Boston Public Schools designed to encourage students to create and implement projects that fulfill community needs.
A celebrity judging panel consisting of several local media personalities, community leaders and staff from the Boston Celtics and Southwest Airlines selected the winning team from among twenty-three schools that participated.
"The Celtics are proud to partner with Southwest Airlines and reward these children for giving back to their neighborhoods," Celtics President Rich Gotham said. "The ASSISTS program encourages students to develop fun community service projects that make a positive impact. I commend all the students who participated in this year's contests and helped to make a difference in their community."
"I congratulate the students from the Grover Cleveland Middle School. I was very impressed with the dedication the students showed," Southwest Airlines Area Marketing Manager Leslie Isselhard said. "The Grover Cleveland students and all the other students who participated in this year's ASSISTS contest made a great impact on their community."
The second place team from the Donald McKay K-8 School in East Boston will be rewarded with a pizza party hosted by a Celtics player at their school. There was a tie for third place between the Tobin K-8 School in Roxbury and the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester. Each student on the third place teams will receive a Celtics basketball autographed by a current player of the Boston Celtics and an appearance by Celtics legend JoJo White.
The students on the winning team from the Cleveland Middle School are:
Marian Ali (South Boston)
Shamalia Barrett (Dorchester)
Montfort Bembeleza (Dorchester)
Chandra Ganga (Dorchester)
Monica Gomes (Dorchester)
Kerby Joseph (Dorchester)
Chanelle Mackey (Dorchester)
Juan Mercedes (Charlestown)
Peter Mercedes (Charlestown)
Marissa Miranda (Dorchester)
Jennifer Nguyen (Dorchester)
Kanardd Ragland (Dorchester)
Keoji Robinson (Dorchester)
Scott Saez Svrsek (South Boston)
Yoshiko Shepherd (Dorchester)
Cynthia Thales (Dorchester)
Crystal Walker (Dorchester)