NEW LONDON, N.H. — Superintendent Winfried Feneberg is pleased to share that a group of Kearsarge students have been recognized by Sen. Maggie Hassan as Granite Staters of the Month of May for their efforts to give back to and support their community.
Students in Kearsarge Regional High School’s Students Working on Community Outreach (SWOCO) group were recognized in a statement Sen. Hassan read for the Congressional Record regarding their efforts. To read her statement, click here.
“I am proud to recognize Kearsarge Regional High School’s SWOCO community outreach group as May’s Granite Staters of the Month for their continued commitment to community service even as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to change how they normally operate,” Sen. Hassan said. “From organizing a student and teacher Zoom talent show, to coordinating food pantries throughout their school district, I am grateful for their hard work and look forward to seeing what they accomplish next.”
SWOCO students also had the opportunity to discuss their efforts with Sen. Hassan during a Zoom meeting held this April.
“Our SWOCO students have risen above and beyond any expectation to support their community members through various efforts to give back,” Superintendent Feneberg said. “Even amid the ongoing public health crisis, they’ve continued to work together remotely to hold virtual events in an effort to promote community during these uncertain times and provide a source of positivity and fun for their classmates.”
Since Kearsarge’s school facilities closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SWOCO has organized a talent show featuring students and a second featuring teachers. After the group’s Zoom meeting with Sen. Hassan, Jake Cardillo, a junior of New London took on a challenge she gave the students to help those struggling during the ongoing public health crisis to access food. Cardillo is currently working to launch a series of “little food pantries” similar to the pop-up community “little free libraries” that have been created locally. Students in SWOCO hope the effort will allow the group to coordinate with other community organizations to supply the pantries to assist those in need in the area.
Approximately 30 students participate in SWOCO. The group is led by adviser, teacher and Veterans adviser Curtis Roddy.
This fall, SWOCO partnered with Colby-Sawyer College to host a Community Action Resulting in Experience (C.A.R.E.) Conference that more than 120 area high school students participated in. Students heard from keynote speaker Jennifer White, an assistant professor at Colby-Sawyer, at the event, and also discussed big-picture questions about topics such as leadership, community and collaboration in small groups.
SWOCO also held a blanket drive in partnership with Kearsarge’s National Honor Society in December, collecting and donating 90 blankets, in support of efforts by the Newbury Veterans Committee to help homeless veterans at the Liberty House in Manchester, a substance-free transitional house that assists homeless and struggling veterans and connects them with much needed resources.
Sen. Hassan recognizes an individual or group of people as the “Granite Stater of the Month” each month to acknowledge New Hampshire residents for exemplary efforts to support and better their communities.