Berlin Community School students offer service before asking for help

30 upcoming eighth graders pack bags with trash at Berlin Park

Special to The Sun: Eighth graders from Berlin Community School

While sending children out for a few hours to pick up trash in a neighborhood park may not seem like a life-changing event to everyone, some parents in Berlin Borough feel it helps create the foundation of good character in their children.

Last week, nearly 30 upcoming Berlin Community School eighth graders and their family members gathered at Berlin Park ready to pick up trash and leave the park cleaner than it was before.

The event was organized by Eileen Ludwick, who oversees a committee of parents who plan both fundraising events and community service projects for the school.

Brandy Titus is the mother of rising eighth grader Madison Specht and feels that rather than just holding fundraisers to ask for money for school events, students should create change where they live.

“We are teaching them to give back to the community,” Titus said.

The trash cleanup precedes a car wash the students will hold from noon to 6 p.m., Aug. 16, at the Berlin Fire Department. The goal is to raise funds for the annual school dance held in June.

While the group was prepared to pick up trash without the help of others, the county and borough governing bodies decided to kick in funds and materials.

Titus said Camden County supplied the students with trash bags, gloves and shovels while the borough offered the group $500.

The students and their families collected multiple bags of trash on the day of the clean up.

“They had fun, it is a good group of kids. They went off in groups of three or four and had no problem doing it,” she said.

She explained that all the money donated and raised throughout the year goes to events such as the dance, and excess funds are handed over to the school board. Titus said extra funds have helped fund purchases such as microphones for teachers.

“It teaches them a couple different things,” Titus said, mentioning responsibility and accountability. “It’s good to volunteer and give back to the community where you live,” she added.

Other projects students of Berlin Community School have engaged in are the planting of trees in the community, assisting with a Veterans Day Lunch and multiple food drives during the holiday season.

Titus said the school has also participated in a trash clean up at Brigantine Beach in Atlantic County.

She said, “You have to give back.”