Nearly 100 Newark High School freshmen students recently got their first taste of community service when they visited various locations to offer a helping hand.
Debora Barry made arrangements to send 56 freshmen to various work sites in and around Newark, including Wayne County Humane Society, Newark Manor Nursing Home, Wayne County Nursing Home, Newark Food Closet, Emmanuel Methodist Church, Wayne Arc and ERP Environmental Fund Inc.
Barry serves as a teacher assistant in the Capstone Program office at NHS, as well as volunteer coordinator for Newark Central School District and adult education coordinator.
Accompanied by staff chaperones, students helped out at each location depending on what was needed. Activities included making crafts with residents, stocking shelves at Newark Food Closet and helping with animals at the humane society.
Some students served as volunteer bell ringers for The Salvation Army in front of Herb Philipson’s sporting goods store in east Newark. Others read to students in Newark Education Center classrooms at NHS.
Each student earned up to 20 community service hours for their participation. The hours are needed for graduation through the NHS Capstone Program.
Barry was asked to help obtain sites at which freshmen students could get a head start on their community service hours by Jenn Johnson, who teaches 10th-grade math and serves as a teacher for the new half-year freshman year experience course.
Chaperones told Barry the students did a great job. They said some of the people in charge at the sites were pleased and they would welcome the students back anytime.
NHS teacher assistant Matt Holland, who serves as freshman class and sophomore class adviser, took 40 freshman to Foodlink in Rochester to spend four hours sorting donated items on a conveyor belt and packing bags for people in need.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the students,” Holland said. “They did a really good job. From what I am hearing, students have been asking if they could do it again.”
Barry said a similar activity may be planned for the spring since the organized community service work day was successful.