Hundreds of kids from one Southwest Missouri high school leave the classroom to give back to the community. Today marked the second annual “Mountaineers Serve Day” in Mt. Vernon.
Sophomore Noah Wyatt says it’s been a busy morning.
“We’ve been just washing trucks, drying them, vacuuming them,” says Noah Wyatt.
Meanwhile, about a mile north of where Noah was washing trucks, junior Madison James is working with another team from Mt. Vernon High School.
“We are taking out the old trees that we had and we’re replanting them, because they were too close to the road and they could tear up the road,” says Madison James.
And they’re not the only ones hard at work. High school principal Doctor Josh Ladd says this is the second annual “Mountaineers Serve Day.”
“I’ve got over 300 students combing the community right now, putting together about 18 hundred service, and paying it back to the community for being so supportive of us,” says Dr. Josh Ladd.
Ladd says you can trace the roots of Mountaineers Serve Day back three years ago, to a group of teachers dedicating a day to community service. But then the students decided they wanted to take it a step further.
“Students heard about that and they wanted to take part. So, two years ago a group of students came to me about starting a ‘Mountaineers Serve Day’ for students. They put together a list of businesses and acts of service they could do,” says Dr. Josh Ladd.
And this year, that’s grown to spending their day working at 37 Mt. Vernon businesses. While it may look like washing a fire truck, or planting a tree, the kids say it’s really their way of sending a message.
“Just to say thank you to them for investing in us, and we’re just putting it back into the community,” says Noah Wyatt.
And showing how much love they have for their hometown.
“I go past the other places that other people are helping with and I’m like ‘we did this, we helped.’ People look at our schools, and our libraries and everything and be like, ‘we did this, we helped.’ It just feels good,” says Madison James.
Students say they’re already looking forward to next year’s day of service.