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“Ask not what your community can do for you. Ask what you can do for your community.”
That was the theme John F. Kennedy School students in Spring Valley had for the school’s service day Friday honoring the former president. The saying was taken from Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural Speech and changed to fit the day.
“I just think that giving back to the community is such a wonderful cause and getting kids to volunteer their time is so important because, no matter what happens, they are our future,” said Shelly Nauman, assistant principal and curriculum director for the school.
Around 1:30 p.m., sixth- and seventh-grade student council members, junior high ambassadors and junior high peer mediators, along with Nauman, went door to door raking leaves at houses along Third and Fourth streets near the school.
The kindergarten through fifth-grade students created Christmas decorations for Spring Valley Nursing Center. The eighth-grade student council members along with school counselor Jean Larson and seventh-grade science teacher Bryan Dickinson took the decorations room-to-room at the nursing home, hanging them on doors and walls for the residents.
“I just like helping out people,” Brandon Dejong, eighth-grade student, said about why he decided to help.
Nauman said all the students learned about John F. Kennedy in social studies classes. Dejong said it was important for people to remember President Kennedy. He said the two things he remembers the most from what he learned was Kennedy took charge of the space race and was assassinated. Friday marked the 50th anniversary since Kennedy’s death.
All the students also collected food to donate to Hall Township Food Pantry, Spring Valley. Nauman said she and fourth-grade teacher Mike Wallace also raked leaves near Lincoln School early that morning. Nauman contacted the city, which volunteered to vacuum up all the leaves the kids raked that day.
“We have a great group of kids, and I hope everybody in the community enjoys this and appreciates it,” she said.
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