PHS, At Your Service: Students and staff engage in a day of giving

PHS, At Your Service: Students and staff engage in a day of giving

To most people in a small community, giving back is often crucial. There are not as many larger organizations like those in big cities to help those in need. That is why learning and caring about your neighbor are skills that never go unnoticed, especially in a community like Paoli.

Friday, October 2, all students and faculty at both the high school and junior high will be utilizing the many resources and people at the school to give back to the community and surrounding communities with a school-wide service day. On this day, all classes will be suspended and every student will participate in service opportunities organized and led by the faculty members.

“This is a school-wide effort to help teach the value of service and help meet the needs of our community,” said Principal Todd Hitchcock.

Sign-ups for the activity have been completed and students will learn their placements in the coming days.

One project in the works is a trip to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville. Football coach, Brian Balsmeyer will be taking a group of students to Kosair to assist and visit children who are patients at the hospital.

“I chose this project as a personal reminder of what struggles are in life. Often times, we feel that we’ve got a lot of struggles in our life and sometimes you get an opportunity to see others who are fighting a real struggle. So going to Kosair Children’s Hospital is an opportunity for the kids and myself can think, ‘Oh, we have issues; think again, here are some real issues.’ As for those who are in the hospital, if we can bring some joy to a part of their day or to their whole day, then we are helping them,” said Balsmeyer.

Another project opportunity will be helping the Orange County Historical Society with odd jobs like moving and cleaning. This project will be ran by U.S. history teacher Chris Lindley.

“Obviously, as a history teacher who is also interested in local history, this seemed to be a perfect project. Most members of the Orange County Historical Society are elderly and unable to do much physical work that needs to be done at the museum and Lindley House,” said Lindley. “Not only will the OCHS be helped, but this service project will help prepare the museum and Lindley House to celebrate next year’s bicentennial for Indiana, Orange County and Paoli. Hopefully, a better interpretation of our local area’s history will help our local population and visitors appreciate the part Orange County played in our state’s development.”

When all the students have chosen projects to participate in, everyone will embark to their specific task and carry out the duties chosen by the teacher for the whole day. Students will be asked to do a quick reflection at the end of the day.

Some of these projects have a limit on the number of students and some have a specific set of skills needed. For example, English teacher Tammy Noble will be taking photos of the service day and will be sharing them with the school and community. Four students will spend the day working with cameras and photography skills.

English teacher, Maria Wishart project will also have requirements of the students who will be helping her create, write, illustrate and publish children’s books to be donated to Kosair and Riley Children’s Hospitals and the Ronald McDonald house. For this task, five to ten students with writing, drawing or tech skills will be needed.

“Hopefully this service day will encourage our students to do even more service outside of the school day,” said Hitchcock.

With so many projects being done, a wide variety of people will be greatly helped. Not to mention the great experiences PHS students will gain.

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Story by Garrett Vincent