ARCANUM — Arcanum High School students will once again “Serve Arcanum” through a service program established four years ago.
Students in grades 9-12, assisted by teachers and community members, will go out into the community and serve citizens through a variety of service projects from 8 to 11 a.m. May 6.
In the meantime, residents of the community are asked to fill out a form requesting what they want done that day. There is a sign-up sheet on the back of a brochure that is available throughout the community, and the deadline for the forms to be completed is April 15. The brochure can also be accessed online or is available at Sutton’s and other sites in town.
One week before the event a member of the Serve Arcanum Committee will contact the resident and remind him/her about the event and finalize the details.
Students will then be placed in jobs based upon their ability to complete the project.
Jason Stephan, principal of Arcanum High School for the past 4 1/2 years, said he started this project during his first full year as principal.
“We take the student body into the community to perform duties such as lawn care, painting, cleaning garages and organizing things,” he said. “We usually get done, but we stay until the job is finished.”
Those requesting the help, he said, are to provide the job and supplies, and the students will supply the manpower.
Serving on the Serve Arcanum Committee with Stephan are teachers Lora Brandon, Andrew Bryant and Sarah Murphy, school nurse Terri Greve and aides Rachel Fearon and Alychia Wright.
“The committee plans everything,” Stephan said. “And, then we have a cookout at the end of the day.”
Stephan said the community is appreciative of this gesture.
“This is one of our ways to say thanks for what the community does for us,” the principal said. “We usually have 275 to 280 kids doing the work. We do things for churches, citizens, the school and organizations. We average 30 projects a year with it.”
The brochure containing the sign-up form reads, “The goal of Arcanum High School is to provide the best experience possible for our students through love, service and care. This is the ‘Trojan Way.’ When our students graduate, we want them to have a service-oriented mind. We want the students of our high school to want to help make our world a better place through purposeful acts of kindness. We also want to give something back to the community that shows such strong support of our school.”
This year, Stephan said, some of the students will be helping the village put up the new community playground at Ivester Park. And, some of the students may be scheduled to work at multiple locations as needed.
Stephan said the students learned about Rachel’s Challenge activities in a program this year.
“Rachel Scott was the first student killed at Columbine High School,” he said. “Her family goes out to provide presentations on kindness and anti-bullying. We we were fortunate to have them come this year, encouraging us to promote kindness, so this is a culmination of all that. That is our goal for that day.”
According to him, students K-12 have been keeping track of their kind acts and writing them down on paper, making a chain which is currently hanging on the hall walls in the school.
“We already have 22,000 acts of kindness on that chain and it’s a mile long,” Stephan said. “We will be stretching that chain that day from Sutton’s to the Hardware Store near the post office in a big celebration of our achievements.”
It was noted in a disclaimer that Arcanum High School reserves the right to decline any project that could be deemed dangerous to the students’ mental or physical well being. All students performing service activities will have signed a permission slip waiving responsibility for any injury from the person/organization/business or the school district.