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Farmington High School Connect Gives Back to the Community

High school students and staff give to the troops, collect toys and books for children, clean up and tend to the campus and give back through the Connect program.

Angel Chaves, a Farmington High School freshman, plants daffodil bulbs on the hill at the front of the campus for Connect's give-back day. Credit: Jessie Sawyer
Angel Chaves, a Farmington High School freshman, plants daffodil bulbs on the hill at the front of the campus for Connect's give-back day. Credit: Jessie Sawyer
Farmington High School's Connect program launched its first school-wide community give-back day last Friday.

"I absolutely love it," said William Silva, Farmington High School's new principal. "It's a way to highlight for the students the importance of community service."

Connect groups students with peers from their grade and staff advisors to form bonds between the teens and adults and address various topics of interest to high school students.

"We did it last year to develop the continuation of strong relationships at Farmington High School," Kim Toledo, a school counselor and Connect coach, said. "I think we have a strong community and connections here, but I think this makes it stronger."

The program started last year to help maintain a positive school climate in keeping with the "vision of the graduate," Silva said.

"God did it feel great today," Kim Toledo, a school counselor and Connect coach, said. 

Now student Connect leaders Dana Le and Angelika Muter have initiated a community service component to the program. 

"It was their idea to do community service," Aimee Cotto, a Spanish teacher and Connect advisor. 

The different groups focused on four activities, including a toy collection for kids, donating books to the Burns Academy tutoring program and collecting supplies for Give 2 the Troops.

Cotto connected with Andi Grant Edwards, of Avon, the president and founder of Give 2 the Troops, to see what the troops needed. Students collected many requested items, including iTunes gift cards, DVDs, video and board games, flash drives, CDs, electronically-held games, yo-yos and dominoes.

"I think it is very powerful," said Jessica Francesconi, a literary specialist and Connect advisor for the juniors who did the Give 2 the Troops drive. "I think it gave our Connect groups the sense of purpose and community."

Cotto's Connect group did the campus crawl. The students chose something to do to improve the campus, such as cleaning up trash, planting daffodil bulbs on the front hill and around the "F" bush letter and decorating the teacher's lounge.

"I think it's awesome," Cotto said. "I think it's going to be a tradition we do every year."

Connect has many other community-oriented activities planned, including a unity day of community service in the spring, Toledo said.


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