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McKENZIE (October 11) — McKenzie Middle School continued a new tradition by giving back to the community with a Service Day on the Friday before Fall Break.The third-annual event saw some of …
McKENZIE (October 11) — McKenzie Middle School continued a new tradition by giving back to the community with a Service Day on the Friday before Fall Break.
The third-annual event saw some of its activities hindered by rain, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of giving and cooperation that the students and staff spread throughout the city.
In the first two years, students were split up by grade level, but, this time, they did things a little differently. At the beginning of the school year, a new initiative was enacted, spearheaded by seventh grade math teacher Beth Mathis, based on the “house” system from Harry Potter. Each of the 13 houses included students from each grade in order to build community across the student body. The houses are named for virtues: Perseverance, Integrity, Respectful, Diligent, Brave, Responsible, Trustworthy, Independent, Loyal, Compassion, Courageous, Ambitious and Determined.
The students performed a wide variety of service activities across McKenzie.
On the middle school campus, students cleaned in the gymnasium and fieldhouse, baked brownies, cookies and cupcakes for first responders and painted “kindness rocks” to be placed around town.
Some went to the elementary school to read with students and assist in the school’s workroom. Others went to Head Start/Early Head Start to play with the young children there and do some chores.
Groups went to Lakeside Senior Living, McKenzie Healthcare and Christian Care Center to spend time with residents. A group did a variety of chores at the local VFW.
Others went downtown to help clean up the public areas and help the city prepare for upcoming activities such as the Boo Bash and Hometown Christmas. Some helped wash emergency vehicles at the firehouse.
Groups traveled to Bethel’s Wildcat Stadium and the City Park to do some clean-up.
After the kids had worked hard for several hours, everyone returned to the school and met with their respective houses. The houses discussed the “Essential 55 Rules” listed by Ron Clark, the award-winning educator and best-selling author who created the house system. Members of each house selected the five rules which they believe in the most.
Students and staff alike made a difference in their community once again before a well-deserved Fall Break.