GREENFIELD — In two weeks, hundreds of Greenfield-Central High School students will head into the community for a day dedicated to giving back.
The second annual G-C Day of Service, held Sept. 11 in conjunction with the National Day of Service, will involve the entire school, with students working both on and off campus to make a difference through acts of volunteerism.
The program piloted last year and was well-received both by students and community members who offered up projects to hundreds of helping hands.
And students are building on the momentum for this year’s event.
“It’s a lot bigger,” said senior William Wagner, one of the event’s organizers. “We have a couple dozen service projects lined up right now and more to come.
The projects will be completed over a three-hour span; students will then return to school to attend each of their classes, which will be held on a shortened schedule.
This year, the school is hoping to increase community involvement by declaring the following Saturday a citywide day to volunteer.
The suggestion has Mayor Chuck Fewell’s support.
“I think that we should set that example with them as adults,” he said. “I hope that we can assist them in anything they want to do.”
The two-part event begins Sept. 11, when the student body will take on projects both on the school grounds and out in the community.
Those include beautification projects at local parks and hosting a toy and clothing drive at the high school.
The following Saturday, Sept. 13, has been dubbed “Fighting for a Better Community,” and serves as a challenge to the citizens of Greenfield to follow the example the students have set.
Planning is underway for a community bake sale and a 5K walk/run along the Pennsy Trail, all with proceeds going to charity.
With 1,600 students supporting the effort, senior Zach Phillips said he hopes to make an impact, even in just one day.
“… If everyone does it, and everyone’s together for the teamwork, then you can make a large difference together,” he said.
Students are reaching out to the community in a variety of ways to advertise the citywide service day, but they’re hoping the biggest contributor to the cause will be word of mouth.
“We’re hoping that students here will go home and tell their parents what they did on Sept. 11, and then on Sept. 13, … we’re hoping that adults will go out and volunteer as well,” Wagner said.
Teacher Rebecca Schini, one faculty member helping oversee the event, said many students already have experience volunteering. This will build on that experience and potentially have a greater impact on the community, she said.
“We have an amazing group of students that do lots of service, but they’re a small percentage of the overall population,” she said. “If we can take that and make … 100 percent of our student body population do some type of service during their years here at G-CHS, hopefully that opens up their eyes to the impact to the community.”
Members of the community are invited to take on their own volunteer projects on Sept. 13 during a citywide day of service. Those looking for a way to help out are encouraged to participate in several events hosted by Greenfield-Central High School, including a toy and clothing drive. Donations may be dropped off to the high school during school hours leading up to and on the day of the event.