Student project in Iola
By Holly Neumann
For the sixth year in a row, the Iola-Scandinavia National Honor Society has organized a community service project for students.
“This is important for many reasons,” said Tammy McCartney, National Honor Society advisor. “It allows some students who don’t necessarily shine in our classrooms to shine, lead and show us another side. It also provides opportunities for staff to connect with students with whom they do not always have time and opportunity to connect with.”
It also gives students a taste of community service and a leadership opportunity for the ISHS National Honor Society students who are in in charge of communication and logistics for the event.
“If feels good to be helping the community improve,” said Moira Burkley.
“Sacrificing just a little bit of your time, helps the community as a whole,” added Dawson Marsden. “It makes us all closer.”
Erich Schmoldt seems to sum it up best.
“The community has helped us more than we could ever help them,” he said. “This is just a small token of us giving back to them for all they have done for us in our lives.”
Bridging the gap between the students and the community is also an important aspect of the program.
“I have received positive feedback from the community members with which we work each year and we keep getting asked back to help,” said McCartney. “So, I hope that our connections are building more every time we are out and helping.”
Residents appreciate what the students have been doing.
“We rely heavily on them helping us,” said Sandy Schuettpelz, who manages the Iola Community Garden. “We get more work done in the couple hours that they are here than we do sometimes in months.”
“This is pretty amazing,” added Lee Halverson, vice president of the Iola Historical Society. “It is great to get a connection between the community, the school and the students.”
Everyone agreed that they are grateful for the help they have received.
“I could not have done this without them,” said Sue Nelson. “I think this is so good for the students and we have had a lot of fun. Everybody needs help at some point, but people don’t like to ask for it. When it comes to something like this, anyone can ask. These students are truly paying it forward.”
In the near future middle school student may also become involved with the project.
If anyone in the Iola-Scandinavia area has any ideas about services that high school students could support during Community Service Days, they can contact McCartney at email@example.com.