Tampa, FL: Students at Tampa Day School to donate 20% of their annual “Hawk Walk” proceeds to the Southeastern Guide Dogs Paws for Patriots organization on March 24th. Students in grades 2-8, familiar with what it is like to struggle with ADHD, Dyslexia, Anxiety or learning disabilities, will experience the positive impact of making a difference at their school while paying it forward to help service men and women facing unique challenges.
Although the “Hawk Walk”, named in honor of the school’s flying mascot, was originally developed as a PTO event fundraiser, Amy French, PTO President and Lois Delaney, Head of School, deemed it would be a worthwhile goal to give a percentage of the funds raised to a local charity. Lois Delaney has had a long-standing history of leading the charge for developing service minded students and as an inspirational educator who leads by example, her approach has been relatively simple- weaving opportunities for students to engage in meaningful awareness activities, charity fundraising, supply collection, and hands-on service to others into the curriculum.
Lois Delaney is a strong proponent of traditions and whole heartedly believes “including service learning activities into the curriculum fosters the development of students’ self-esteem as well as an attitude of gratitude through the focus on helping others and the satisfaction of making a difference”.
These activities have been influential in cultivating a philanthropic spirit throughout the school community as evidenced by the infectious enthusiasm and outstanding community-wide participation in activities such as campaigns for Dyslexia & Breast Cancer Awareness; collection of supplies for Movers for Moms and Metropolitan Ministries; and fundraising efforts for preemies and children through organizations such as the March of Dimes and Unicef.
Although Tampa Day is a small school by design, its 145 students raised an impressive $5,500 during the walk-a-thon last year and donated more than 20% of the funds raised to the Child Life Program at St. Joseph’s Hospital. This year, the patriotic animal lovers at Tampa Day School elected to donate a percentage of funds raised to the Southeastern Guide Dog Program, Paws for Patriots. This heart-warming program provides service dogs for veterans who are visually-impaired, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), wounded and recovering in a clinic or military hospital, or those in need of emotional support while experiencing symptoms of a disability. This organization’s mission hits close to home as many of Tampa Day School’s students are motivated or comforted by the school’s two therapy dogs and visiting service cat.
As excitement about this charitable giving opportunity continues to gain momentum within the school community, families have jumped on board and modeled the philanthropic spirit by donating approximately $3000 to date in sponsorships for the event. Mrs. Delaney is confident that with continued parent and staff support, the school will maintain a culture in which students experience the satisfaction and “FUN in FUNdraising”, particularly as they are empowered to make a difference in the world around them. Ultimately, Mrs. Delaney’s hope is that “students will come to realize that despite any school challenges they may have faced, they possess the strengths, abilities and heart to take the action necessary to help others in profound ways”.
About Tampa Day School (TDS)
Tampa Day School is the premier, fully accredited private school alternative in Tampa Bay for students who have struggled in more traditional learning environments due to symptoms of Dyslexia, ADHD, Anxiety and learning disabilities. For over 4 decades, the school’s innovative and researched-based design, small class sizes, and tailored instruction have effectively met the unique learning needs of thousands of students. Students at TDS develop the confidence, learning strategies, and academic skills necessary to succeed.
To learn more about Tampa Day School, go to http://www.tampadayschool.com
To learn more about Paws for Patriots, visit https://www.guidedogs.org/about/our-programs/paws-for-patriots/