Crafty community service connects students, enhances environment

Photo by Nicole B.
Seventh graders Skylar B. and Daphne V. work together to improve the appearance of the park. The paint on the pillars was wearing off, and the middle school students worked to add a new coat to each post.

Nicole B., Co-Editor

The middle school students applied a paint-job to a community cause on Friday, Sept. 19 when they visited the local park.

The middle school’s community service is something that Assistant Principal Chad Fuller and middle school social studies teacher Lisa Bales worked on over the summer. They reached out to people they thought may have a need in the city.

It was during their search that Bales and Fuller came across the idea of helping with a project at the local park. In the last month, the two have tried to find a date and organize it.

Park supervisor Bill Buntgen responded and said this would be a project that he could use some help with and that would also be useful for the kids.

“They should take pride in the park. It’s theirs to play in and use. We’ve been busy mowing, fixing, repairing and taking care of other problems in the park and auditorium,” Buntgen said. “For the kids, they can learn how much work and time it is to take care of a park and keep it clean. They also learn how to volunteer to help their community.”

The middle school students started their project at the beginning of seventh period. Each student had their own container of paint and a paintbrush. As students made their way around the park painting each post, they were supervised by Fuller, along with Bales and house representatives science teacher Kevin Behrens, math teacher Tracy Behrns, and English teacher Rob Scheffler.

“It helps build the school’s reputation and it’s fun to do. It’s helping David City look better, and it’s nice to see something look better in the park,” seventh grader Wayne M. said.

This year the middle school has gone through a large change involving the new house system. Two hours a month must go toward community service from each middle school student.

The new system deducts points from students due to failing grades and homework academies. Points can be obtained by performing community service, executing a good deed, being a Super Scout, or winning house competitions.

These points go toward house vacations at the end of the year. A house vacation is a field trip middle school students must win by acquiring points throughout the year. Students must occupy between 80-100 points at the end of the year in order to attend the vacation. Before the point system, Scout cash was used. Scout cash was fake money handed out by middle school teachers rewarding students when a good deed was done. Because Scout cash wasn’t used consistently, this system replaced the inconsistencies, condensing the system into a smaller, easier version.

“We struggled with Scout cash. This takes a little more individual accountability, and it’s a little cleaner for us to monitor. It’s easier to see what the outcome is going to be,” Bales said.

In October, the middle school students plan to rake lawns for the next community service project. They’re currently in the process of recruiting yards for the project.