Middle school students to spend Saturday volunteering

Peter Muhlenberg Middle School students will participate in The Big Give, a community service event, this Saturday.

Jennifer Jones, eighth grade civics and economics teacher, said that during the event, students volunteer to spend their Saturday helping with various community service projects throughout the community.

“I think it’s important for students to find an appreciation and respect for the community they live in,” Jones said. “My father worked in law enforcement, which gave me many opportunities to see firsthand the needs in my community. When I began to teach, I realized many of my students didn’t have those same opportunities and seemed very hesitant to volunteer. I thought if I created a low risk environment, with the school as a safety net, students might be open to a new experience.

“Because Peter Muhlenberg has a supportive staff and administration, we were able to create a successful program called The Big Give with hundreds of students volunteering on and off the PMMS campus. My hope is that through this program, students will feel empowered to continue to make a positive impact on their community no matter where their lives take them.”

She said over 100 students will volunteer during the seventh annual events, which will be held from from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Service projects include Adopt a Street, restoring benches to be used for an outdoor classroom, Story Time with preschool students at the school’s library and at the Woodstock Library, Challenger Buddies softball game, cleaning up the school, children’s learning activity kit for Response, Theatre Shenandoah clean up, visiting with residents at Consulate Health Care and creating personalized artwork for the residents, Lighthouse Grocery clean up and food collection, volunteering at the animal shelter, tree planting with the Woodstock Town Office and working a food stand with proceeds benefiting Furry Friends Animal Rescue.

Jones added that a sheriff’s deputy will be volunteering with the students at Consulate Health Care. Woodstock Town Manager Angela Clem, will lead a tree planting activity and the Woodstock Police Department will be escorting the Adopt a Street kids.

“It’s awesome when kids get to work with people in the community,” she said.

Peter Muhlenberg students are the only students participating in The Big Give, Jones said.

“In the future, it would be amazing if the volunteer program could be county wide.”

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com.