The community service event was originally on a Saturday in the spring, and student council advisors Paul Sommers and Christina Boody wanted to “add to what student council is.” Sommers said they had multiple fundraising events throughout the year, but none that were strictly community service.
“We added the day of service and had it on a Saturday, and it wasn’t as well attended,” said Sommers. “We had a random professional development day on a Thursday, and businesses were open in the area, so we said to put it on that day when students have off, but we’re in session.”
Now, the day falls on Take Your Child to Work Day, which gives students a better opportunity to do service. This year’s day is April 25, starting around 8 a.m.
“You’re doing it with your friends most of the time, and I know my friends and I decide on things to sign up for, so you’re still having fun,” said senior Naomi Amadoro.
Students who participate in the event are also given the opportunity to gain community service hours for student council and National Honor Society, both of which require students to complete a minimum number of hours.
Sommers added faculty do not participate in the cleanup because it takes place during the required development day and students check in frequently with him and Boody, but they trust the students will go to the places designated to clean up.
“We’ll start in the morning, and we have different options on what to do,” said Amadoro. “Depending on where the students are, it can be at different lengths of time. Some will be at 8 a.m., some could be in the middle of the day.”
Some of the places the students will be at are the Mantua Township Municipal Building, Chestnut Branch Park, Pitman Manor and Harrison Township elementary schools.
The cleanup is also rain or shine, and Sommers said students were previously instructed to do more inside work during rainy weather.
“Some [locations] are cancelled here and there, but most can find something for 10 students to do inside,” said Sommers.
He added the community can join the students to assist in cleaning up the various parks that day as well. He hopes for the elementary districts to be able to participate.
“We’re lucky to have so many students who really want to help and have a passion for our community,” said senior Gabby Beske-Somers. “It’s special seeing all of our peers helping out and cleaning and being outside.”
Beske-Somers added, last year after cleaning up, she and her friends ended the day with a picnic and were able to see the fruits of their labor.
“The students definitely get excited about it with getting to go outside and help out with everything, especially since it’s been nice lately and I think people do get pretty excited for it,” said Amadoro.
Sommers said the students go to pre-planned locations in the two townships and help the businesses or municipalities.
Sommers added any and all CRHS students are welcomed to participate in the event and they would have to check in with a student council member or the advisors to find out what places are still available to sign up for.
“We were weeding, mulching and everything, and we were walking around doing sections of the school, and you could see the before and after right away. It was so pretty,” said Amadoro of a previous cleanup she did at Pleasant Valley Elementary School.
“I’d encourage everyone, especially being surrounded by your peers and hanging out on a nice day, I think it’s a really special day everyone should do,” said Beske-Somers.