Berkeley Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Day of Service!

Today’s Day of Service was the first of a grand finale of events this weekend, completing a year of celebrations for Berkeley’s 50th anniversary. The Day of Service sent Berkeley students, faculty, alumni and friends out across the Tampa Bay region to volunteer in a living example of the school’s vision statement: “Berkeley puts people in the world who make a positive difference.”

Preparation for the Day of Service began weeks ago, as students and parents donated countless goods that were distributed today to locations in Tampa and St. Petersburg, including the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Feeding America, Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay and Ronald McDonald Houses of St. Petersburg.

Lower division students remained on campus today and spent the day working on several environmental projects. The pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade classes spent the morning making bird feeders and working with AP Environmental Science students to hang them around campus. Second grade classes planted herbs with Rick Martinez, president of Sweetwater Organic Community Farm. Third, fourth and fifth graders all worked on projects surrounding Pennington Pond. Third graders planted indigenous plants around Pennington Pond to attract dragonflies. Along with the help of founding faculty member E.C. Smith and several alumni, mosquito larvae-eating fish were released into Pennington Pond. The fourth graders presented poster projects detailing the release, while the fifth graders, joined by Dickenson Elementary students, actually participated!

Berkeley’s middle and upper division students were dispersed across Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, volunteering at more than 20 organizations, parks and schools, which are listed below.

• Bay Pines VA
• Northdale Park
• Town ‘N’ Country Head Start
• Feeding America
• Dimples Playland
• Jackson Springs Head Start
• Easter Seals
• Riverhills Drive (road clean-up)     • McCloud Head Start
• St. John’s Learning Center      
• Sweetwater Park
• Hudson Manor
• Clothes to Kids
• Perrone Park
• Dover ESC and Elementary School
• Lowry Park
• Rowlett Park
• Lavoy ESC
• Al Lopez Park
• Bay Crest Elementary
• Copeland Park
• Roland Park K-8 Magnet School
  for International Studies
Berkeley alumni participated in the Day of Service by volunteering at the Bay Pines VA, Sweetwater Park and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Alumni will also provide meals for families at the Ronald McDonald House of Tampa this evening.
The Day of Service culminated with an all-school convocation for students and faculty to celebrate and recognize all of the hard work that was done. Berkeley had the honor of welcoming Mayor Bob Buckhorn to the convocation. Mayor Buckhorn congratulated the students and faculty, not only for their hard work today, but for the thousands of hours that Berkeley students tally each year performing community service. One highlight in a day filled with many memorable moments was when Mayor Buckhorn presented Headmaster Seivold a proclamation that declared September 9, 2011, as “Berkeley Preparatory School Day.”

Our appreciation goes out to the more than 1,000 people who participated in the Day of Service and helped to make it such a memorable occasion. A very special thank you to the 50th Anniversary Committee and to all of the volunteers for all of their tireless efforts and contributions.

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