Students put together Service Day Saturday to help others

- It’s Service Day Saturday in Savage, Minn., and it was made possible because of some thoughtful elementary students.

Last year, 500 people participated, and this year plenty more are expected. It all started with 12-year-old Shrey Pothini, who launched a service club at Harriet Bishop Elementary when he was in the third grade.

“I’ve been doing service almost my entire life and I’ve been trying to inspire young children to learn how fun it is to help others and make a collective impact in their community,” he said.

After partnering with the city's mayor for the first service day last year, the event has grown. Projects expanded to  the library, fire station and Cherrywood Point senior housing, where Meals on Wheels bags are being decorated. Residents have been looking forward to being part of the success of a younger generation, plus local businesses have gotten on board.

“We hear so much about negative kids in schools nowadays, and there are so many wonderful things going on -- we wanted to highlight it. These are our future leaders,” Mayor Janet Williams said.

All the elementary schools in the city have a role, including more than 100 of Shrey's classmates. The parents and teachers are helping out, and those bringing in donations say there is a lesson here for everyone.

“I think it's just that learning is about more than just math and reading, and I think that gets the big emphasis, but it's also about teaching them to be a citizen of the world and get these kids real world ready,” teacher and service leader Erin Hubber said.

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