Each year, students at St. Pius X Catholic School in Reynoldsburg volunteer their time to serve the community and those in need, globally as well as locally.

Each year, students at St. Pius X Catholic School in Reynoldsburg volunteer their time to serve the community and those in need, globally as well as locally.

When reports came that an earthquake had hit Haiti on Jan. 12, principal Kathy DeMatteo said her students took notice of the need to do something and began to think of ways to raise money for the relief effort.

As a result, they raised $240 by selling hot chocolate at lunchtime for 50 cents per cup.

DeMatteo said the project is a part of the school's service learning curriculum for all students in the K-8 classes at St. Pius.

"Service to the community is more than just collecting money and sending it over somewhere," DeMatteo said. "One of our firm Catholic beliefs is being of service to God and His family."

DeMatteo said the fundraiser for earthquake relief sparked fifth-grade student Frannie Hillyer to come up with another idea to raise money: Silly Sock Day. Students who paid 50 cents were allowed to wear a pair of colorful socks to school that day.

Silly Sock Day raised $197, also for earthquake victims, DeMatteo said.

"Our theme this last year was a celebration of service and the idea of teaching service to the community is important to the students," she said. "It's imbedded in them that serving the community and helping others, even around the world to make the world a better place, that's what the theme is all about.

"We're not just helping in our own local community but we're also helping globally. It's important to help everyone," she said.

Besides raising money for victims of the Haiti earthquake, DeMatteo said she is proud of the school's current involvement over the last year in a "Band-Aids for Bolivia" project, which was started by first- and second-graders at St. Pius last year. The children are paid for doing chores at home and the money earned is sent to a mission hospital in Bolivia.

"The funds are sent to Father John, who distributes them to Davosan, a nonprofit organization that provides money, doctors and prescriptions to those in need," DeMatteo said.

For each 25 cents earned, the students colored a picture of a Band-Aid on tally sheets. As the tally sheets filled, so did a big Band-Aid displayed in the classroom.

DeMatteo said the project raised $4,000 last year for the Bolivian children. The goal is to meet or exceed that this year, she said.

"Service learning really involves getting to know the people you're helping out and we've really done that in our project for Bolivia," she said. "We got to meet the priest that's over there and pictures of who we're helping and why we're helping them -- that is service learning."