There are many teachers in our area who go above and beyond what is required in their education of young people. Here, we focus on just one.

North Middlesex teacher Ray Kane is the service- learning adviser at the school. What is evident in his involvement is that his commitment to the kids and the cause comes from his heart, and is not simply a response to a job that needs to be done.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, over 150 volunteers went to the school for a day of service. Kane's message to students is that the projects the students become involved with benefit them as much as they do those they are helping.

On what was supposed to be a day off from school, the volunteers painted murals, cleaned and brightened hallways, made blankets for veterans and cleaned the school's greenhouse, among other things.

In a letter to the editor (see page 5), Kane and his committee of student coordinators express gratitude to the North Middlesex community for its generosity in supporting the students and their many projects. Read the letter to learn the astounding accomplishments these young people have made.

"I think it's important for my students to feel as if they're part of a greater community, but part of their own community as well," Kane said. "I think one of the worst things that we can do is not feel that we're part of a larger community that is making a difference. Having my students involved in service helps them become engaged with a variety of people that they may have never met if they weren't otherwise doing so."

"Mr. Kane .


.. always says that if you're doing something good, something good will come of it," student Marina Scheid said.

The projects in which Kane's students become involved are varied, but they share a theme common in the teachings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others." -- Strength to Love (1963)

And so these students learn that there are many in their community who could use some help, and that to offer that help, brings hope and love and lightens the burden for everyone.