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2nd annual Community Service Day big success

Katlyn Hockey

BHS freshman helping the community on Community Service Day by repainting a fence down town.

Rachael Fritzsche, Feature Editor

For its second annual Community Service day, all Baldwin High School students traveled all across the town, helping the community in many different forms. From pulling weeds at the various parks around the town, to reading to kindergartners at the Primary Center, BHS made a major impact on the community. Overall, four hours were spent out in the community, and with over 400 students participating, a total of 1,600 service hours were completed on Oct. 25.

This year Community Service Day was organized by BHS teachers Paul Musselman and Danielle Balsman.

“The community service day went well. Mrs. Balsman did a lot of preparation work so that we could improve the day from last year,” Musselman said. “First, we decided to move it to the Fall semester so that seniors could be involved. We also sent out questionnaires to the community so we could get specific feedback from community members about what we could do for them. We are going to continue to attempt to refine the process so the day is as meaningful as possible.”

Many long hours and hard working hours were put into organizing the afternoon that was spent helping the community. Students arrived at school that day, but rather than attending normal classes all day, half of the day was spent in the first four classes of the day, but the second half of the day was changed. After the fourth hour bell rang, all 437 students who attend BHS gathered in the lunchroom, as every student that day had first lunch. In preparation for the event, the lunch staff made a simple sack lunch for all of the students. After lunch, students headed to their seminar class, where the teacher took attendance, and then left to their given location for the remainder of the school day.

“I went to Yogi Bear Park to pick up the trash and clean up the area,” junior Kathryn McGinnis said, “I enjoyed being able to work with many of the kids in my seminar that I usually don’t interact with, and I am glad the we were able to go out and clean the community.”

Not only did students help out around the school and in the nearby neighborhoods, they also traveled all across Baldwin City, reaching out to many people all over the community.

“My seminar started two murals out at the softball and baseball fields. The community supports BHS a lot. It’s great when we can find ways to show our appreciation and giveback,” BHS art teacher Becky Weaver said.

Being able to work on a project to that highlighted the students creativity, two seminars went along with Weaver’s seminar out to the fields to paint the murals. Using a projector, they displayed their design against the wall, and started painting.

“I liked that I was art related and that I knew it was something the community was wanting.” Weaver said.

Besides cleaning up the parks and painting murals for the community, some BHS students went across town to the elementary school and worked with some of the younger kids, and others endured more physical labor at the Community Garden digging and pulling weeds.

“I like working outside, and I enjoyed our job for community service day because it gave me an opportunity to get digging,” sophomore Colton Long said. “I know the community appreciates our work, as it makes the community look cleaner and better.”

Being deemed a success by many BHS staff members, including Balsman, Community Service Day got kids outside helping the community. Many positive thanks have been given to BHS and those who participated in community service day.

“The goal for the day was for every seminar to have an opportunity, large or small, to be able to give something back to the community that gives so much to us. I feel like we accomplished that goal,” Balsman said. “We had students working in our local fire departments, our BHS and Baldwin library, the Midland Railroad, the Lumberyard Arts Center, our local day cares, classrooms at the PC and IC and many groups working to beautify our city at quite a few locations.

Community Service Day is a unique event put on at BHS, and it provides students with a new outlet of helping others around them. This event allows students to build strong leadership and teamwork skills, while allowing them to interact with each other in a form that otherwise would not happen within the confined atmosphere of the school.

“Our schools are a vital part of the community and our city. Any opportunity we have to give back should be taken,” Balsman said. “I have seen this city rally behind so many people in need and it is extremely heartwarming. I am so glad that we are able to dedicate an afternoon in service to this community and I hope that students will continue to give back all year long.”

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