PostBulletin Rochester MN 2009: Teens Goal

PostBulletin Rochester MN

While a teen's main goal during high school may be to get an education, some are taking time to give back to their community.

In Stewartville High School's Community Service Learning class, students have been painting the school's gymnastics room, and after the school's library sprinkler system burst during the Christmas season, students have been helping to get the library back in shape and books back on the shelves, said teacher Joyce Stacy. They also help set up the Mayowood mansion for Christmas tours, work with global charity Operation Christmas Child, made blankets for the Rochester Ronald McDonald House and Crisis Nursery, and other projects. "The reason I teach the class is that I think it's important for students to know how important it is to give back to the community, to get out of the 'everything is about me,'" Stacy said. "Our responsibilities as good citizens is to help take care of people who need help." One of her students, Nicole Preble, said she enjoyed making fleece tie blankets for children who need them and filling shoeboxes with notebooks, pencils and other useful items for Operation Christmas Child. "After this class, I know I'm going to stick with the projects. I like helping people," Preble said. At Stewartville and other schools, there are several choices for clubs or classes where volunteering is a focus.

"They present (their work) as a project. It's almost like a speech competition," advisor Ryan Radke said. "It's a way of being active and learning the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community."

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