Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Honored For Second-Place Finish In The Boston Celtics and Southwest Airlines ASSISTS Community Service Contest

Celtics guard Delonte West hosts pizza party for Allston eighth-graders as a reward for their innovative community project

On June 6, Boston Celtics guard and ASSISTS spokesperson Delonte West hosted a pizza party for 40 eighth-graders at Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Allston today as part of the seventh annual ASSISTS community service contest. ASSISTS, a partnership among the Boston Celtics, Southwest Airlines and the Boston Public Middle Schools, is designed to encourage students to create and implement projects that meet community needs. The program is open to all eighth-grade students in the Boston Public Middle Schools.

Delonte West

For their project, Horace Mann students polled their teachers asking where assistance was needed in the pre-school and elementary school classrooms. The students took this information and implemented two programs to attempt to improve their school. First, the students chose a picture book connected to the teacher's lesson plans to read and sign the book with their younger classmates. This allowed the teachers to observe the class and refine their planning and teaching techniques. The students also helped clean and organize both classrooms and the area surrounding their school.

"It is a pleasure to be able to reward these students for all their great work in the community," West said. "Their hard work has gone a long way toward improving their school and will leave a lasting impression on these students."

"Delonte's pizza party is a wonderful way to recognize these students for helping to improve their community," said Michele Miller, the Southwest Airlines Marketing Manager. "Southwest Airlines has a deep commitment to helping the communities we serve, and through the ASSISTS program we are pleased to offer local youth a chance to pursue worthwhile local projects in their neighborhoods."

A celebrity judging panel consisting of several local media personalities, community leaders and staff from the Boston Celtics and Southwest Airlines selected the winning team from among the entrants. Judging was based on the students' ability to (1) create an imaginative, unique project; (2) meet the deadline for submitting entries; (3) make a positive impact and meet a real community need; and (4) have fun by helping others.

A group of 15 eighth-graders from The Harbor School in Dorchester won the ASSISTS contest and earned a trip to Baltimore/Washington, D.C., courtesy of Southwest, on June 20. While in the nation's capital, they will meet U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, visit the National Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and tour other sites. The students will be accompanied on the trip by Boston Celtics guard and ASSISTS spokesperson Delonte West. For their winning project, The Harbor School students continued their annual coat drive to benefit the St. Francis House, volunteered at the 20th Annual Charles C. Yancey Book Fair and will be traveling to New York City to refurbish the library of their sister school in Harlem.

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