SING's Big Birthday

Written by Fran Turner and Larken McCord
25 years ago, Lovett 9th graders set out across the city to roll up their sleeves and learn firsthand about community service opportunities.

This experiment in Service Learning went so well that the school decided to make it an ongoing part of the program and dubbed it the Service Initiation for Ninth Grade, or SING.  Last week, 17 buses carrying 17 9th grade advisories and 34 teachers continued that tradition, fanning out around Atlanta to pull weeds in community gardens, tutor children in after-school programs, and learn about innovative partnerships to meet the needs of vulnerable Atlantans.
Over two days, the class of 2023 completed 51 service projects with more than 25 organizations across metro Atlanta. Lovett freshmen participated in afterschool programs at Agape, L’Amistad, WINGS for Kids, and the Warren Boys and Girls Club. They sorted donations at MedShare International, the Clothes Closet, MUST Ministries, the International Rescue Committee, and Books for Africa - a new service partner for 2019. While on SING, students got a behind-the-scenes look at the daily operations of organizations as diverse as ACTION ministries, re:Loom Weavehouse, and Hope Thru Soap, a new SING site for 2019 that provides hygiene support for people experiencing homelessness. Every advisory group also had the opportunity to work outdoors, whether assisting in the Global Growers community gardens, beautifying public spaces such as Oakland Cemetery, or participating in projects with Trees Atlanta or Park Pride.
With this breadth of real-world SING experience, another generation of Lovett students is learning to appreciate the diverse tapestry of service in their community and the importance of active citizenship and servant leadership.
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