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By Dru Walters, Student Contributor

Hayden Cook, a fifth grader at The June Buchanan School, recently started a charity to benefit the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. At every June Buchanan home basketball game, Hayden sets up shop in the lobby of the Grady Nutt Athletic Center, where he typically earns $30-$40 per game for St. Jude’s. The dean of The June Buchanan School, Amanda Clark, says she is “extremely proud of Hayden, and his service to St. Jude’s.”

Hayden says he was inspired by St. Jude’s television advertisements, in which children who have endured lengthy medical treatments thank donors while encouraging others to donate as well. When his sister decided she wanted to volunteer for St. Jude’s, Hayden felt compelled to help out as well.

With his own savings from Christmas in 2016, Hayden purchased in bulk the ingredients he needed to begin. He and his grandmother, Robin Cook, have been hard at work in the kitchen before basketball games ever since. Cookies go for $1, but Hayden’s charity often encourages people to give more.

Hayden’s favorite cookies are chocolate chips, and his best customer is Robin Varney, whom he says regularly buys six or seven cookies at a time. In the future Hayden knows he wants to volunteer for St. Jude’s, continuing Alice Lloyd College and The June Buchanan School’s tradition of service. Nurturing a spirit of service and charity to others is what Amanda Clark and The June Buchanan School strive for, “service is an integral part of our mission statement”, says Dean Clark.

Amanda Clark elaborates that “while fostering a Christian environment, our students are blessed to receive prestigious academics while learning life skills needed for success – service, leadership, perseverance, and determination”. The emphasis on academics paired with life skills is just one of the main reasons The June Buchanan School is an important staple in the Appalachian region, cultivating bright, service minded youth.

With enrollment quickly approaching for the 2017-2018 school year, please contact The June Buchanan School now to set up a tour! With a 10:1 student/teacher ratio, each JBS student receives the dedicated attention they deserve to be the best they can become.