AUGUSTA — Students at St. Michael School put down their books and iPads on Oct. 4, and picked up rakes, rags and gloves to help make their community a better place, according to a news release from Dave Guthro, communications director, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Pre-kindergarteners through eighth graders participated in the Day of Caring, an annual event organized by the United Way to celebrate the spirit of service and engage thousands of people across the country in community service projects.

During the day, St. Michael students cleaned the yard and several vacant apartments at the Howell House, a senior residence in Augusta; visited the Lithgow Library to pick up litter, dusted the woodwork and clean; and spread bark mulch, pulled weeds, picked up litter, and washed walls at the school. Even the Rev. John Skehan, pastor of St. Michael Parish, pitched in to assist the students, according to the release.

In addition to the Day of Caring projects, students also launched a sock drive to benefit Bread of Life in Augusta, an organization that operates a soup kitchen, a family shelter, a shelter for veterans, and apartment units, and offers case management services to those in need.

“Students take pride in giving their time and donations to important projects to help improve our communities,” said Kevin Cullen, principal of St. Michael, according to the release. “We are proud of our students and the community spirit they demonstrate not just during special events, but each day.”

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