The holidays are an exciting time in our schools -- parties, concerts and other events make for a very busy month.

The holidays are an exciting time in our schools -- parties, concerts and other events make for a very busy month.

More importantly, the holidays provide an additional opportunity for our students and staff to get involved and give back to the community. Although we are committed to giving back to the community throughout the year, it can be especially meaningful during the holidays.

At Stevenson Elementary School, students donated their Halloween candy to the United Service Organizations to be included in care packages for soldiers stationed all over the world. During December, students will go Kinder Key caroling throughout the community and collect donations for the Heart Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Students and staff also participate in food drives to help support our local Heart to Heart Food Pantry, collect donations for families in need, and organize an annual hat and mitten drive.

At Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School, students create personalized holiday cards for distribution at retirement communities for senior citizens. In partnership with the Tri-Village Lions, Edison/Larson students support the "Give Your Write Arm" project by writing letters to provide comfort, kindness and care to our active servicemen and -women. In addition, the school's student council holds a canned-food drive in partnership with Boulevard Presbyterian Church as part of its Community Christmas Packages. They partner with multiple community organizations to provide more than 350 families each year with food and presents around the holidays.

At Grandview Heights High School, students donate personal products, household items and nonperishable foods to the Faith Mission Homeless Shelter. The high school choir performs numerous holiday concerts, sharing their musical gifts with others at a local retirement home, the Grandview Heights Public Library, the Ohio Statehouse, Tri-Village Rotary Club and many more organizations. Students also collect and donate gifts for children in need for the Salvation Army and stocking-stuffer items for Franklin County Children Services.

Grandview Heights students have a long and rich history of giving back to our community. These volunteer efforts help our children and teenagers become good citizens; build perspective, understanding and compassion; and help them to be responsible, organized and innovative.

Some day, our young people will become business leaders, parents and workers. Volunteerism in our schools helps prepare them to take responsibility, lead others and tackle today's social challenges. I am truly amazed by our students' and staff's compassion and eagerness to give back.

On behalf of the Grandview Heights City School District, we wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Andy Culp is superintendent of the Grandview Heights City School District.