Penquis Valley students participate in day of service to clean up community

Penquis Valley High School students cleaned up around the town of Milo.

MILO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For most kids, Friday was just another day in school.

But for Penquis Valley students, they spent the day outside raking, picking up trash, and giving back to the community in the first annual day of service.

“It's great giving back to the community that has given so much to us. And so I feel honored to get out there today and help those in need,” said Shyanne Hemenway, a junior at Penquis Valley.

Nearly 400 students and 70 volunteers came out for Penquis Valley School's first annual day of service, for what they say is to make their community beautiful again.

“The community does a lot for us, so it's our turn,” said Aiden Pardue, a student.

Students raked the lawns of local cemeteries, churches, picked up trash along the banks of rivers, cleared brush at their school’s athletic fields and painted benches there, and volunteered at Paws, a local animal shelter.

“Just little stuff like this can help out the community out in a big way,” said David Conlogue.

According to students, they are required to complete 25 hours of community service before graduating high school.  This school-wide event motivates them to continue helping the community and shows them how to do it in a fun way with their classmates.

“I think it's a nice thing that our entire school came out and went to different areas of the community to help out and it just shows that we actually care about our community,” said Harley Brooker, a junior.

Members of the community, like a member of the Milo United Methodist Church, are grateful for the work.

“It's so good to see the young people so active in the community,” said John Sebastianelli, a member of the church.

“A lot of our kids are a product of what they come from. So if we teach them that giving back to events and to the people and to organizations that have given a lot to them, I think that's something they can carry on in their life,” said Penquis Valley Principal Jeremy Bousquet.

“I think you're building a well-rounded student, a well-rounded person after their years here,” said Principal Bousquet.

After three hours of volunteering in the community, students said the work was gratifying.

“It's good to give back to a community that loves to give back to us so it's been a blast so far,” said another student.

Principal Bousquet said he hopes they continue this tradition each year in the springtime.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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