Each year, Communities In Schools coordinates a series of community service projects known as March Gladness. From January through March, students from all 33 schools in the Puyallup School District play a leading role in creating and carrying out a service project to benefit a local, national, or global cause. Beginning with a district-wide response to the tragedies of the 2005 Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, March Gladness has grown into a large and powerful tradition in Puyallup.
In 2019, 11,845 student volunteers contributed 2,312.5 hours, raised $38,267.25, and collected 39,527 items for causes as diverse as cancer research, food banks, and supporting other students locally. We feel that the opportunity to get involved in meaningful community service is one of the most transformative experiences a student can have. Research indicates that students who get involved in their community perform better academically, have greater levels of self-esteem, and are more likely to engage in civic activities. March Gladness is an opportunity for students to learn more about the values of service, connect to their community, and grow in a healthy, nurturing environment.
We invite all schools to register their projects on the March Gladness website. We also invite all Jr. High and High School students interested in joining in the March Gladness Leadership Team to apply on the website as well.