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Community service helps build character

Westport 8th graders Noah Hart and Ronald “Hoss” Logan help spruce up outside the Depot Theatre last week.

Westport 8th graders Noah Hart and Ronald “Hoss” Logan help spruce up outside the Depot Theatre last week. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

Local students have been learning a lot in the classroom during the 2012-13 school year and are preparing for their finals and Regent’s examinations as we speak.

What we would like to draw attention to, though, is the learning that has been done at several schools this year that has had nothing to do with core curriculum or state testing. We’d like to recognize those schools that have place a value on not only the education that takes place inside school walls but also outside of those walls.

Last week, Westport Central School students, under the direction of the student council, teachers Adam Facteau and Cheryl Phillips, and support from the administration, held an ‘Adopt-Your-Town Day’ event throughout the community.

Students went to several locations in Westport, cleaning up streets, parks, trails, and buildings in a morning of service to the community that supports them. Each class was given an assignment at locations throughout the town and worked throughout the morning to help clean up their community.

While not traditional classroom learning, students did get a lesson from their day in the community. Most of the kids were smiling as they served, with one saying that they had more fun working than they did during the field day events held afterward.

The lesson is that serving the community you live in is always rewarding, something that you can take pride in not only as an individual but as a collective.

Phillips and Facteau said that the day was created as part of the school’s focus on character education, especially when it comes to community service. More and more, schools are implementing a community service aspect to the curriculum of the district, asking students to give a certain number of hours working in the community and giving their time to others.

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