MADISON — Students in Karyn Bussell’s Community Service class at Madison High School are collecting pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters for a young mother of two children who lost almost everything in the wake of Hurricane Irma in Florida and for an elderly couple who lost their home and belongings to Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.

Bussell, the school’s health educator, said this is the first year of the Community Service class, an elective with credits toward graduation. Students will conduct a Hurricane Relief Coin Drive through Nov. 15 and will hold a big Community Service Day Nov. 1 and Veterans’ Day Recognition on Nov. 9. Ideas for the projects were hatched in the spring by Bussell and high school Principal Jessica Ward.

“I wanted to help out with projects in the community and get more involved, so I thought taking this class would be a good opportunity to do that,” said Lauren Hay, a senior from Athens.

Madeleine Theriault, a senior from Madison, said the coin drive will be conducted every Wednesday from each of the home rooms at all three of the schools in town. Other members of the Community Service team are Tyler Briggs, Sabrina Furbush and Izaiah Perkins, all Madison seniors.

The first collection day is Wednesday.

Tobin Curtis and Curtiss Kanagy, both local church ministers, helped link the students and the coin project with the recipients in Florida and Texas.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Ward, now in her second year as high school principal. “It was a great idea and all came from the students — this was the students’ idea.”

Bussell said her goal for the coin project is $1,000.

Tyler Briggs said the class will next set its sights on the Community Service Day.

“We’re going to go around helping people that need help with their lawns or cleaning up around the house,” he said.

All students and staff at the high school will participate in the service day from about 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Nov. 1, Bussell said. Community service hours also are a graduation requirement, she said.

On Nov. 9, the class will recognize Veterans’ Day with visits by U.S. military veterans.

“They’ll be talking about their experiences as veterans in an assembly,” Sabrina Furbush said. “And at the end we’ll be handing out cards thanking them for their service, thanking them for everything they have done.”

State Rep. Brad Farrin, R-Norridgewock is scheduled to be the keynote speaker to share his thoughts about how being a veteran has affected him, Sabrina said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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