Community service is key for UCS students
Community service is key for UCS students
Students packaging food for hungry

You might say that community service is a key part of the Utica Academy for International Studies mission. 

This week, the school's Key Club brought together new ninth graders at their orientation program to show them the importance of community service through participation in a food packaging program.

“One of the things we stress as a key club is to be part of the community and be open minded,” said Key Club Vice President Dina Qiryaqoz. “This event allows a diverse group of people to work together and these freshmen to get to know each other.”

More than 100 UAIS students gathered August 24 in the school gym to package more than 14,000 dry meals to help the Kids Coalition Against Hunger help needy families around the world.

Working in stations, students filled bags with rice, chick Powder, Soy and dried vegetables. The packets will feed approximately more than 80,000 individuals.

The project was co-sponsored by both the Key club and the local Kiwanis Club.

Key Club President Kirsten Woodcox said that while the group sponsors services activities throughout the year, the food packaging remains one of the group’s personal favorite activity.

“Here, you really get your hands dirty and it gives me a greater feeling of helping someone,” she said.  

Woodcox said in addition to packaging food, the key club annually volunteers at elementary school fairs, visits to senior citizen homes, food can drives, letters to volunteers and making dog toys for area animal shelters.

Qiryaqoz added that the service projects reflect the school’s International Baccalaureate focus and the program's Learner Profile, which promotes caring and a commitment to the community.