Archive for Wednesday, April 30, 2008

THS students to pitch in for Community Service Day

April 30, 2008

With the first selection in the Tonganoxie High School Community Service Draft, THS instructor Pam Arevalo selects:

No, Tonganoxie High School's "draft" for an upcoming community service day didn't play out quite like last weekend's NFL Draft.

But like college football players, THS students have been selected to help their respective teams out.

In all, about 40 teachers will have about 12 students each on their teams for the first Community Service Day at THS.

On Friday, May 9, all THS students will embark on a day of hand-lending to area residents.

The event is being organized by the leadership class at the high school, which also is in its first year of existence.

"There's all different kinds of learning," Arevalo noted. "And a lot of it doesn't take place in a chair in a classroom. A lot of it takes place in the real world.

"Kids stand to learn a lot about themselves and to help others. This is going to afford them the opportunity to do that."

Arevalo, who teaches high school Spanish and dual college credit courses at THS, said teachers drew numbers for a selection order of students for their teams. Students' names were divided by class on four separate tables. Arevalo said that allowed some teachers, who for instance might primarily teach freshman classes, to select students they work with daily, if they wanted to take that route.

"The nice thing about it, from the students' perspective, is somebody picked them," Arevalo said. "They were hand-chosen by their teaches to be on the different teams."

Arevalo did not participate in the draft. She will be stationed at "headquarters" at the high school that day to help with any questions people may have and to makes sure the teams head where they're supposed to go.

Attendance will be taken for the required day of school. The day will begin with teachers serving breakfast at 8:10 a.m. to students, which Arevalo said should be interesting to view.

"It ought to be a treat to see the staff serving breakfast to 580 students," Arevalo said with a laugh.

After that, students will hit the streets and volunteer their time to area organizations and residents. Students and teachers will return to the high school for a picnic meal. And in the afternoon, students will be treated to some sort of entertainment, although Arevalo said that still is being finalized.

Some projects already have been lined up for the May 9 work day. Some students will be cleaning up the junior golf course at Wyandotte County State Park, while others will work with patients and help with other activities at Tonganoxie Nursing Center. Other projects lined up so far are: Cleaning up flower beds at the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site, cleaning pens at Screamin' Oaks Farm, working on ball fields at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds and helping elderly residents with window cleaning.

"We've got quite a few lined up, but we're still looking for more," Arevalo said, stressing that anyone in need of a helping hand should contact Arevalo at the high school, (913) 845-2654.

"This is hopefully our first annual," Arevalo said. "It's definitely our first and hopefully it will become annual."

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