BY RUSSELL EDEM
Even though Great Bend High School was in session on Wednesday the students were not in their classrooms participating in their daily activities, but were out around the city and helping with different projects during the Community Service Day event.
“This is such a great event for the kids,” Student Council sponsor Andrea Stalcup said. “The kids get out of the classrooms and help the community in so many ways. It is their way of saying thank you for all the support they receive from the City of Great Bend.”
Students, teachers and support staff, about 900 in total, took to the streets on Wednesday as part of the Great Bend High School’s 5th annual Community Service Day event.
The day started with an assembly at the school and right after that different groups of students were bussed all over town to start working on their given assignments.
“This is our fifth year doing this and it is so much fun,” GBHS teacher Jake Hofflinger said. “I really enjoy it because you can really get to know the kids. They get so much out of it and they always exceed my expectations.”
One group of students headed to the Great Bend Zoo where they mainly focused on landscaping and cleaning up different parts of the zoo.
“It is great giving back to the community,” sophomore Blake Penka said. “The community supports us in all of our events and this is just a way for us to say thank you.”
Another group of students were bussed over to the Barton County Historical Society Museum and helped with chores like dusting antique vehicles, landscaping and some house cleaning duties in one of the homes on the property.
“Its wonderful to be able to help out at the Barton County Historical Society Museum,” Stalcup said. “Not only do the students get to help with up keep, they get to learn a little bit on the history of our community.”
Other areas that the students helped out with were churches, other schools, parks, the airport, City Hall, the Events Center and other local business.
Not all the students were around the city helping, some stayed behind and helped out at the school with different projects.
One of these projects were baking cookies for different city departments like the Great Bend Police Department, the Great Bend Fire Department and the Barton County Sheriff’s Office as part of Administrative Professionals’ Day.
“The students are not only giving back to the community by cleaning up the city, but they are recognizing all the hard work our city officials do on a daily basis,” Stalcup said.