HOISINGTON — USD 431 is continuing with its emphasis on social emotional development and skills, and as a part of that, Volunteers In Action Volunteer Coordinator Linn Hogg spoke to Hoisington High School students Thursday about the importance of volunteering at one of five breakout sessions at the opening assembly. Seventy-five students registered to be notified of volunteer opportunities.
“I’m very excited,” said Hogg. “The students really do understand the importance their service can have on a community.”
Hogg spoke to the students about how volunteering can have an impact on success after high school as well as benefit the community today.
“They are going to make an impact,” she said. “Volunteering gives people commitment and ownership.”
She encourages agencies to look at jobs that students can do that are meaningful. “Volunteers are a resource that can help small budgets,” she said. She works with United Way agencies on how to best use volunteers and that change is good.
“These students want to make a difference,” Hogg said, knowing that students are busy and have to work around school and activity schedules.
With the registration of the students, Hogg received contact information. She can alert them via email to needed services such as serving a meal, creative projects, and fixing things. The emails will include needed skill level and logistics.
Included in her talk on Thursday were benefits to students-doing good, test driving career options, polishing job readiness skills, adding to personal networks, challenging oneself, building leadership skills, adding to one’s portfolio, discovering an essay topic, and learning by doing.
She said that in Hoisington, the senior citizens are very engaged in volunteer service, and how important it is to bridge them with the younger generation.
The students have had a full week of back-to-school activities designed to promote school spirit and inclusion. Last year, the school started Link Crew, where student leaders who are juniors or seniors lead team building and mentorship activities for all of the freshman to encourage participation in school activities and a feeling of belonging.
“It makes a lot of difference how well (the freshman) feel,” said Principal Meg Wilson. She said that it takes away a lot of the anxiety that freshman have and encourages enthusiasm.
The student council opened the Thursday assembly, celebrating successes and continuing with those, as well as team building activities. Also discussed were the schools Core Values, which will be implemented into art projects.
On Friday, the students held a Family Tailgate supper, followed by street painting with Cardinal Crew, which is the pep club, and a back-to-school dance.
Wilson thought the year got off to a good start. “I think it’s gone really well,” she said. “It’s been a full and busy week. The students have been great.”