The sound of giggles could be heard coming from the lunchroom at St. Patrick’s Catholic School on Thursday, March 14.


Those giggles were accompanied by the splash of water as a group of second grade boys dipped their rags into buckets of soap and water.


Water dripped on the ground as one of the boys took his rag to wipe down another table. It wasn’t long before the students were crawling on the floor to wipe underneath the tables.


The service project was one of many being done by St. Patrick’s students throughout the school and even into the community.


Principal Kandice Roethler said this year marked the first service day in honor of the Feast of St. Patrick. As the holiday falls on Sunday this year, Roethler said she wanted to hold a service day before the students leave for spring break.


She hopes to make the service day an annual event. This year’s event began with a prayer service led by Father Chris Reising. Roethler said she hoped the students learned more about Saint Patrick and his act of service, as he is the patron saint for the school.


The students then worked on a variety of service projects at the school and throughout the community.


While the second-graders were wiping down tables in the lunchroom, a small group of kindergartners were dusting the railings in the stairway.


Across town, a group of third-graders made quick work of dusting the bookshelves at the Perry Public Library. A shopping cart full of candles was pushed down an aisle at Ben’s Five and Dime as a group of seventh grade girls stocked shelves.


Still other groups cleaned pews at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, made meals for the homeless and worked at the DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Academy and the Freedom Youth Center.


Roethler said the school plans to hold the service day each year the day or two before spring break. As the service day grows, she would like to expand it beyond Perry.


“We want them to be visible and to see that there is a lot we can do to give back,” Roethler said.


Reising added that the service projects help the students show their faith through actions.


“This is our love, this is our faith, this is who we are,” he said.