South County High School Community Service
Students at South County HS need to look no further than their School library for Community Service opportunities that align with the Fairfax County Public school Portrait of a Graduate initiative: Ethical and Global citizen. South County students can be found knitting hats and scarves to donate to S.O.M.E: “So Others Might Eat”, an organization dedicated to supporting the homeless and underserved in Washington, DC.
Lisa Muir, a South County librarian runs the program called Hats for S.O.M.E. She teaches the students to “knit” hats and scarves on round looms and donates the items to the clothing closet at S.O.M.E. Ms. Muir partners with Jodi O’Hern, an Ambassador for S.O.M.E to deliver the items to the organization. The goal of the South County library is to provide opportunities for students to be an Ethical and Global Citizen which means that a student “contributes to solutions that benefit the broader community” and “demonstrates empathy, compassion, and respect for others.” (FCPS POG 2019)
Ms. O’Hern was recently interviewed by the South County broadcast team for a news segment to be viewed by school community. Ms. O’Hern discusses the impact of homelessness on the individual, their families and the community.
Ms. Muir started this partnership with Ms. O’Hern at Newington Forest seven years ago and was very excited when her former students from Newington Forest library remembered making the Hats for S.O.M.E and asked if they were able to make hats at South County library.
Ms. Muir has written grants to the PTSO for supplies and requested donations of yarn from the community to enable students to “show up” and make a hat. She has trained other students to assist new students in the hat making process. Students can even make hats at home if they are not able to do so during the school day. To date, over 80 South County students have donated 62 handmade hats and scarves to S.O.M.E and recorded over 245 hours of community service. Student interest in community service is growing at South County Library. Students are making pet blankets for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. The library’s newest volunteer opportunity is teaching students how to sew pillowcases on a sewing machine with fellow Librarian Emily Strong. The pillowcases will be donated to a local hospital.
Ms. Muir is very proud of the care and effort the students have put into “knitting” their hats and scarves.