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Dance Party
Kids learn giving back is fun
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Jami McVay and Sarah Niederee, co-chairs of the Kids For Our Community project sponsored by the GBHS FBLA program, get students at Central Kansas Christian Academy pumped up for Wednesdays community service projects that will benefit six Great Bend organizations. - photo by VERONICA COONS Great Bend Tribune

“Volunteering is fun, and it makes you feel good,” said Great Bend High School senior Jami McVay and junior Sarah Niederee Wednesday afternoon.  
The two Future Business Leaders of America club members led the students and a group of club volunteers in some energizers at the start of an all school assembly, kicking off an afternoon of community service projects at Central Kansas Christian Academy.  
Wednesday morning, students at Holy Family Catholic School took part in the project, and throughout the past week, FBLA students have traveled to each of the other five public elementary schools in the district, Niederee said.
In December, McVay and Niederee presented their proposal to the USD 428 Board of Education at a noon meeting at the high school.  The Kids For Our Community project received unanimous approval, and the two co-chairs for the project began the numerous preparations.  The two took on a third co-chair, Grant Harris, to help with many of the behind-the-scenes preparations, including preparing spreadsheets and supplies for six different projects. Together the three have persevered and the project has turned out to be yet another win for the FBLA club.  
Last Spring, students at Great Bend High School went out into the community for a day, a project proposed by another FBLA group.  And this year, the students are working to build on that success.
“Last year, our focus was getting high school students involved in community service,” Niederee said.  “This year, we wanted to spread the message to the elementary and middle schools.”
Rather than splitting the students up by grade, the project aimed to encourage students from Kindergarten through sixth grade to mix.  Each student was given a name tag with a number on it, and after the assembly, split into their groups.  One created placemats that will be distributed to area nursing homes, while another wrote letters to military veterans.  Other projects included making dog toys for the Great Bend Humane Society Shelter, making book marks to be given away at the Great Bend Public Library, making friendship bracelets to be given to kids who have been hospitalized, and a special art project that will be included in meals distributed by the Meals on Wheels program in Great Bend.  
““We feel its a great thing to teach younger kids that even they can take part in community service, and that it’s fun,” McVay said.