By Vianney Morales
Spartan Scoop Staff Writer
This story appeared originally in the Spartan Scoop, the school newspaper of Southern High School. The Spartan Scoop has partnered with the NECD Community VOICE.
Southern High School has a great team of dedicated students who contribute to the environment and the community.
Students in a Work Study Program have been helping clean out the places around the school campus. The Work Study Program Classes also have a partnership with the Durham Soil and Water Conservation, which gave them a $500 grant in order to begin their gardening and also got them in contact with the Farm Bureau. These students also work in conjunction with the Green Club in order to design a garden and maybe even a new green house and a nursery.
These students conduct a “Big Sweep” that occurs during their 4th period. Their major objective is the football field, since they have found that trash accumulates there.
This class gives students a little taste of how it will be in the future when they are out to the world to begin working in real life situations and jobs.
“[Teachers] work to make sure kids are viable employees and also get them prepared to work environmental jobs,” said Ms. Jenkins, a Work Study Program teacher.
The average class size is between 7 and 22 students in a work study program class, and all of them participate during the Big Sweep.
On November 2, eight students began their volunteering internship with the YMCA in Durham.
“I love the YMCA because it’s a nice environment. It’s giving me job skills,” Monique Thompson said.
This internship allows students to gain new job skills and understand the importance of getting an education. There are various staff members at the YMCA that help students develop these skills.
“It was a pleasure having them at the facility. All of the kids were so hard working and were very focused on doing a good job!” said Jessica Isola, a YMCA staff member,.
These students not only get the opportunities to get involved in outside activities and get prepared for future jobs, but also have a great time while getting educated for the future and enjoying it.
“[Teachers] provide a foundation for students,” Ms. Jenkins said.
Teachers and staff have been developing great skills to get students involved in in-school activities before actually being able to manage outside jobs.
Work Study Program Classes help the students and the staff members have consciousness of their environment as well as to try to make a change in it and get involved in activities that help them accomplish several goals in their lives.
“Anyone can do anything to make this world better,” Hideara McGirt said. These students learn the importance of conserving our world and making it a better place to live.
Their biggest aspiration is to gather a few students and staff members to get them involved on a weekend and try to clean up one of the parks in the Durham area; of course these students also recognize that this would require commitment and dedication from everyone.
While that aspiration is still in progress, they have acquired recycling bins from the school and also from teachers who had them from last year.
These students love to be a part of the school community and know that this is important for the environment. As they clean up, they are asking that Southern students keep trash out of the recycling bins.