Nine-hundred students will be out of class and helping the Great Bend Community on Wednesday. From 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the students and teachers will be scattered throughout Great Bend working on different projects that includes everything from painting houses, rebuilding tables, working on city, church, and school grounds, helping nonprofits and local businesses.
“The kids aren’t skipping school, they are out with their teachers and community members making Great Bend better,” said Community Coordinator Christina Hayes.
Students and teachers at Great Bend High School wanted to do something good for the community all while showing students the importance of volunteering, she said. The student council members have been a huge drive for this project, and students Chon Chavez, Nathan Brungardt, Greg Burley, and McKenna Mauler presented it to the Board of Education for Approval.
The STUCO members have also been involved in planning and also teachers, Andrea Maxwell, Kacey Ford, and the NHS sponsor Kayci Scott. These students and teachers contacted Community Coordinator Christina Hayes to make ties to the city for community projects, but also various businesses and organizations to find projects.
The STUCO kids learned about the idea last year at a conference from McPherson High School, it ties in really well with the Volunteers in Action group that has just been started in Great Bend. Volunteers in Action is the newly formed umbrella organization that encompasses the Retired Senior Volunteer Program with the focus to help volunteers of all ages.
When asked about what they hoped to accomplish, Chris Burley, GBHS Stucco President said, “We hope to create a better atmosphere within our school and we are striving to get those kids who aren’t involved all the time to become active in the community. We also want to clean up the town and make it a more desirable place to live.”
Planning projects for 900 plus students was not easy, but the outcome will be better than ever, said GBHS teacher Andrea Maxwell. “The students have worked hard in planning this and are so excited to get out there and hopefully build relationships with the community.
“We know how important it is for our youth to feel connected to their area,” she said. “Service projects give a great opportunity to see the value in different aspects of our city, as well as allow the students to feel a sense of worth and pride in giving back. This is also a unique opportunity for our high school staff and students to build stronger relationships and grow closer as a whole. ”
The students have even made a video to promote the first-ever Great Bend Community Service Day, watch the City Channel 20 on Cox to see what they built. For more information on the Great Bend High School Community Service Day, contact Maxwell or Ford at 620-793-1521.