On June 18, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) awarded both Mechanicsville Elementary School Student Council and Benjamin Banneker Elementary School the Sherry Unger Award.

This accomplishment recognizes projects that exemplify the best practices of service-learning by addressing a community need, developing student leadership, and establishing community partnerships.

In addition to receiving recognition for their outstanding service to the community, each school’s project will be featured on the MSDE service-learning webpage and they will receive $300 to use for future service-learning projects.

The Mechanicsville Elementary School Student Council project was called “Operation Red Carpet.” The students worked with the Patuxent River Naval Base to develop posters and patriotic gift bags to recognize and welcome home local naval personnel who completed their oversea tour in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Cuba.

Benjamin Banneker Elementary School developed a partnership with the Habitat for Humanity to assist the non-profit organization with purchasing supplies. To accomplish this task, the students implemented a can recycling program, and increased awareness about ways to improve the environment. This student initiative collected over 622 pounds of cans and increased student civic engagement.