Students from Wayne, Holmes and Ashland learn life lessons doing service work

As senior Aubrey Geiser grabbed armfuls of broken branches and fallen leaves to help clean up the yard behind an elderly man’s house, she was happy and full of pride.

Sure, it was a cold Friday morning, but she didn’t mind.

She wasn’t stuck in class. Instead, she was having fun with her friends and giving back to her community at Dalton High School‘s Seniors Day of Service.

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Dalton High School seniors do a quick job of landscaping around the Presbyterian Church during school service day.

Community service is a growing trend at countless Ohio schools, including Ashland, Holmes, and Wayne counties. While community members and organizations benefit from the additional help, students also gain unique learning experiences beyond the classroom.

Community service opportunities at local schools

There are many ways for area students to get involved in extracurricular activities outside of regular sports or arts programs.

Several school districts, including East Holmes, Orrville, and Triway, have a National Honor Society or other service-related groups that require students to volunteer several hours during the school year.

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Students at Crestview High School can participate in a mentorship program, known as Cubs to Cougars, which aims to help elementary school students, high school principal Andrew Ditlevson said. The school also has a green team that leads a monthly school and community recycling initiative.

Black River and Dalton Local hold Community Service Days in the spring where seniors go to area churches, community spaces and even some homes to do some cleaning and yard work. Central Christian School is holding a similar service day in the fall that involves teachers and administrators, acting chief administrator Terry Shue said.

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Sean Geiser and Boyd Elett leave with two more wheelbarrows full of mulch.  They are among many students from schools in Wayne, Holmes and Ashland counties who participate in service projects.

Links made and lessons learned beyond the classroom

When it comes to considering the benefits of these services, students and staff say the community is not the group that gets anything out of the experience.

Geiser said that during her day of service, she was able to connect with classmates she doesn’t see very often and was able to learn more about a member of her community that she never had. meet.

“We spent probably about 15 or 20 minutes just talking to him and listening to him, which was super cool and so much fun,” Geiser said.

Brooke Wenger (left) and Aubrey Geiser pull limbs from a large pile to move them to a safer place to burn them.  Geiser said she enjoyed the senior service day as an opportunity to give back to her community and connect more with those around her.

Dalton Superintendent James Saxer said he has seen his students not only grow closer to each other and their community through service work, but also gain a better perspective on life.

“This opportunity to be able to give back and put in their minds that as they begin their launch in their life, life just isn’t all about yourself,” Saxer said. “It’s truly more meaningful when you’re involved in meaningful and helpful activities that help others.”

Contact Rachel Karas at [email protected]

On Twitter: @RachelKaras3

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