By Jordan Wolfe
Middle schoolers were set free from their classrooms to do good in north Tillamook County on May 27.
Greg Kelley, social studies teacher at Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School and the 2016 Day of Service coordinator said the annual event, geared towards community service, has been ongoing for the past several years.
“All students are split up, usually based on where they live,” Kelley said, “We try to keep them in their home areas as much as possible to give them a connection to the area they live in.”
The students of Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School worked on 12 different sites from Bay City to Oswald West State Park, according to Kelley. At every one of the different sites, he added, was at least one staff member from the middle school, along with chaperones and volunteers to have enough eyes and supervision for the students.
“They’re excited and like doing it. It’s a fun day.”
For the three years Kelley has been involved, he said they meet in the gym, distribute into groups and are out of the building by 9 a.m. and work until around 1 p.m.
“We give them work gloves, water and snacks then pump them up to do positive work in the community.”
Kelley thanked First Student, the school bus service, for transportation during the day.
“We’re also lucky that the Lions club donates and puts on a barbecue lunch for the kids and volunteers,” he said. “Their reward is a nice days work and a free meal out of the deal.”
At some of the sites, the students were able to accomplish much in their short time.
“We were getting emails and phone calls that same day saying the students did so much more than expected.”
Kelley said the annual tradition of community service is a great opportunity for the middle school students to network and see what jobs exist in their community. But the most wonderful part, according to Kelley, is the opportunity for kids to give back.
“It’s an aspect of being a citizen we like to instill in them.”
Kilchis Point in Bay City
Bay City Arts Center and garden
Garibaldi Grade School
The big “G” in Garibaldi
The Port of Garibaldi
Twin Rocks in Rockaway Beach
Rockaway Beach Fire Department, Police Station and City Hall
The caboose in Rockaway Beach
Alder Creek Farm in Nehalem
Oswald West (Short Sand Beach)
For more information, or to partner with the middle school, call 503-355-2990.