Last Friday (April 21) was Big Walnut Middle School Service Day, when 560 middle school students fanned out across the Big Walnut area completing community service projects; and the local service day was not just a Big Walnut Middle School effort — it was global.
The 2017 Global Youth Service Day was from April 21 through April 23. Global Youth Service Day was established in 1988 to mobilize young people around the world to improve their local communities through performing service projects.
Big Walnut Middle School Principal Josh Frame said in addition to the entire middle school student body participating in service day, 60 staff members accompanied students to 44 service sites around the Big Walnut community.
“We had a many community partners that made our second annual service day a success,” Frame said. “Multiple members of the Sunbury Big Walnut Area Chamber of Commerce, there was a partnership with the villages, and individual community partners helped provide service projects for our students.”
Frame said participating in Big Walnut Middle School’s Service Day helps students learn about serving in their communities, and how service activities can become an important part of their lives as they grow older and wherever they live.
“Service Day has had a large impact on student leadership development and supports the school district’s mission to inspire and guide each student by promoting good deeds and engaged citizenship,” Frame said.
Frame said members of the school’s 25-member leadership council led the service day project. He said that members of that group of students secured the service project sites, and then followed up with planning and staffing.
“I’m very proud of our students, the way they represented our school and our community,” Frame said. “It shows their willingness to give back to their community, and we really appreciate the community members that made this day possible.”
Middle school assistant principal Darin Prince was with three groups of students at the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial near the end of the day’s service projects waiting for a bus to return to the middle school. He said the three groups had worked at the Fallen Heroes Memorial site, and also on Sunbury Village Square, at Olde Church Park, at Evening Park, and Sunbury Memorial Park.
“The students mulched, picked up sticks and trash, planted three trees, and worked at the cemetery,” Prince said. “One of the coolest things I noticed is students from different groups were all working towards a common goal. Kids who normally don’t hang out together at school were coming together to get the job done. It was hard work, and it was pretty special.”
Big Walnut Middle School Service Day ended back at the school with students sharing their experiences with their peers.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.