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Posted: March 6, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Indian Creek Middle students serve community

Students and teachers at Indian Creek Middle School are not just focused on academics.

The middle school has participated in several service projects this school year that have given back to the Newton County community, and looks to continue lending a helping hand to a number of organizations.

Students and teachers at the school have volunteered at the Newton County Special Olympics. ICMS principal Renee Mallard and Stephanie Stonek encouraged the students to write letters as part of the "Bert’s Big Thank You" program, where students sent messages of thanks and well wishes to troops overseas. And after learning about children in need at St. Jude’s Hospital, the ICMS Crochet Club, led by Jamie Smith, crocheted dozens of warm hats to donate to the hospital.

When Media Specialist Lori McGovern received a new coat for Christmas, she was inspired to host a Coat Drive along with GEMS Club sponsor Whitney Jackson. More than 100 coats were collected for the Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter.

The Couture Club, led by Lynne Blanks, made clothing and sent it overseas to people in need in Liberia, and the FCCLA, sponsored by Charnese Phillips, visits patients at local nursing homes throughout the year.

The school donated $7,377 to United Way this year, exceeding its goal and earning an award for being one of the top three donating schools. During the holiday season, Indian Creek held a spare change drive, "Coins for Custodians," as a way to say thank you to its custodial staff. ICMS students and staff gave almost $800 to the custodians.

This spring, the school will again participate in Relay for Life. Sara Hamby spearheads the committee and hosts a barbecue luncheon to raise money for the event in the spring.

But school officials said Relay for Life is not a one-time event for Indian Creek.

T-shirt sales, "pink outs", chili cook-offs, and change wars have been held throughout the school year, and raised thousands of dollars for cancer research.

School officials said giving back to the community will always be an integral part of the middle school.

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