The 22nd Day of Caring took place on Tuesday, offering juniors the opportunity to give back to the community by performing various public service tasks at 33 different sites.
“Day of Caring is definitely important because we get to learn how to give back to our community,” Sydney Sloan said. Sloan went to Stones Crossing Church to paint barns and picnic tables and clean up around the building.
STaR classes went many places throughout Johnson and Marion counties, such as the Earlywood Education Center in Franklin. Teacher Brian Weidman’s class joined half of teacher Lesley McDougal’s STaR to pull weeds, clean a fence and sweep the sidewalks.
“We pulled weeds on the hills around the Earlywood Education Center,” Erika Wilson said. “I think it was a lot of fun. It was really good just to help people. It was better than sitting in a classroom all day. It was something to break up a normal week, and I learned that if you get a group of boys together, they can and will roll down every hill they see.”
In addition to having fun, the juniors provided a valuable service.
“Our students performed close to 2,500 community service hours,” said teacher Adam Gaff. “I think it is a very meaningful day. I appreciate the fact that, for many students, this is one of their very first community service experiences.”
Gaff also said that if the hours were paid minimum wage, the work was valued at over $18,000.
Another teacher, Ryan Hendryx, stated that “I think Day of Caring is beneficial to the kids, because they get to know each other on more of a personal relationship level”. Hendryx’s STaR visited Countryview Estates, the newest Day of Caring partner site, according to Gaff. There, the class picked up trash and worked to beautify the community.
Many of the students who attended the Day of Caring said they enjoyed the event.
“I think the Day of Caring is nice to help out people sometimes,” Trinity Shirrell said. “It’s good to help out the community.”