Greetings from Jackson Public Schools! The halls are quiet these days since it is summer vacation, but I am keeping myself busy with meetings and year-end reflections with teachers.
This year has been a whirlwind! Since February, I’ve had three large scale events: Community Service Volunteer Fair (CSVF), Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), and Earth Day in the Park; not to mention a lot of smaller, one or two classroom-sized events! The teachers here in Jackson kept me busy!
The Community Service Volunteer Fair was my VISTA Year Initiative that took place at Lumen Christi Catholic High School in March. I worked with Father Dan Lannen, Religion Teacher and Chaplain, to bring together 22 community organizations and approximately 300 Jackson students from Lumen, Jackson Catholic Middle School, Northwest High School, and Middle School at Parkside. Students visited each organization’s booth to hear about how they utilize volunteers to better the Jackson community. The goal of the event was to give students an opportunity to see what is working in their community and how they can help. The event was a great success: most students commented that they had found organizations they were planning on working with in the future, and had spoken with organizations they had not even known existed!
GYSD was another large-scale event held on April 17! MNA’s Signature Service Project provided a mini-grant to help with funding. Chelsea, Lee, and June worked with the Jackson VISTAs (Ebone’, Leslie, and myself) and students from TA Wilson Academy, Northwest Elementary, and Northwest High School on a school beautification program called Project Green & Go. TA Wilson has been carrying out this GYSD project for 4 years and this year we were able to expand it to include volunteers from Northwest. These students and volunteers traveled to McCulloch Academy and Bennett Elementary to do school clean up, plant flowers, and do crafts with the students at each school. This was a very large scale event that had approximately 480 people working together over the course of the day!
I was able to be a part of Earth Day in the Park on April 25. This was a huge collaboration between Jackson County Conservation District and Jackson County Parks Department to get people in Jackson excited about being/going Green, recycling, and animals! There were 25 organizations at the event, including a student named Danielle from Middle School at Parkside who is trying to start her own non-profit called Take Cancer Down. (www.takecancerdown.weebly.com) The Earth Day event was a lot of fun and a great opportunity for students to see practical applications of science and recycling in action!
This year has been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work! I’ve got two months left and I can’t wait to see what else the Jackson community has got up its’ sleeves!
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!