Great Bend students give back to the community

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – On Wednesday, Great Bend students traded in pens and paper for rakes and paint brushes.

More than 800 students were out in full force around the city, helping with projects at more than 50 locations for Community Service Day.

One location included the Barton County Historical Society, where students helped with groundwork and cleaning some of the buildings.

Other volunteer sites included the Great Bend airport, the Golden Belt Humane Society and the Barton Community College Child Development Center.

Students said they look forward to Community Service Day.

“I just like giving back to my community and showing them we’re out here, and being supportive of everything that they ever supported us about at our high school,” said high school senior Logan Perry.

The event is in its fifth year, and organizers said it gets bigger each year — with more community organizations wanting to get involved.

“Each year I feel like there’s more people calling because they know about it, and they know our kids are doing a great job,” said Andrea Stalcup, the advisor for the GBHS student council.

This was the second year the child development center participated, where students painted the playground and spent time with the kids.

Director Larissa Graham said she appreciates the extra help.

“Seven years ago was when somebody painted the playground for us, so it’s so nice to see that fresh and updated, and the kids are going to be so excited when they go out this afternoon to see it,” she said.

While the students weren’t in class today, they say they’ve learned an important lesson.

“No matter where I end up,” said Perry. “It’s always good to give back to the city that you’re in.”

Event organizers try to enhance each service day. Last year, they focused on promoting reading and hosted a book drive. This year, a group of students started a hygiene supply drive for the school’s “Teen Closet,” a resource for local students who may not have access to those kind of supplies.

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