By Brenda Maguire
NEW BRITAIN — It may not have been the classroom setting to which they’re accustomed, but members of the National Junior Honor Society from Louis P. Slade Middle School and Roosevelt Middle School Tuesday morning were more than happy to take time out of their school day to experience volunteering at the Friendship Service Center on Arch Street.
“None of them have done it before so it’s new to them,” said Jim Clerkin, guidance counselor at Slade Middle School. “They’re getting a head start in volunteering and community service, and they’re going to need that in high school.”
The crew of five students from Roosevelt and two from Slade helped prepare lunch at the center, which provides a meal to anyone who needs it. Kitchen manager Sandy Hart predicted the center would have up to 120 people for lunch that day.
“They’re a great help,” Hart said, adding, “I think they like the experience.”
Students helped by chopping vegetables for salad, peeling the skin off onions and preparing chicken and rice.
“It’s been a good opportunity. It’s good to help people and cook food,” said Tahlor Lytton, an eighth-grader at Roosevelt.
Arelys Scali, guidance counselor at Roosevelt, said the community service is required for the National Junior Honor Society. The group does a different project each month.
“It’s a good place to volunteer and they always need volunteer services,” Scali said of the Friendship Center.
Precious Coleman, a Roosevelt eighth-grader, came to the center with no cooking experience, but she took right to chopping the celery for a salad.
“It’s fun and it’s good to know that you’re helping other people,” she said. “I really like it.”