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NRHS students gear up for annual service event

Hundreds of New Richmond students and volunteers will participate in Service Learning Day on May 15 -- a day designed to get the students out of the classroom and into the community.

The entire high school, staff and several volunteers will make up the more than 1,000 people participating in various projects around the New Richmond and Star Prairie area, said Trish Moberg, high school teacher and organizer of the event.

There are three main goals of Service Learning Day:

• Teach students the importance of service to others.

• Incorporate classroom-learning standards into real world situations.

• Create connections between adults and youth.

Students will engage in several different community service projects, which will give them hands on experience while benefitting the community.

For example, students in the high school's auto body shop class will be checking vehicle fluids at the two free-will car washes, which will benefit The Deerfield's Alzheimer's Memory Walk and Relay for Life.

Service Learning Day was started as a way to help implement the Search Institute's 40 developmental assets. Search Institute asserts that the more assets a youth has, the higher the likelihood of a positive future. The School District of New Richmond prescribes to this belief wholeheartedly and has committed to using youth strengths to enrich their lives, school environments, and the community as a whole.

A few of these assets include:

• Family support

• Caring Neighborhood

• Community Youth Values

• Service to Others

• Adult Role Models

For a full list of the Search Institute's 40 developmental assets, visit

Volunteers will be decked out in red T-shirts with the 2009 Service Learning Day logo designed by Julian Barbian.

The major sponsors -- The Centre, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, WESTconsin Credit Union and Thrivent Financial -- are featured on the T-shirts.

Other sponsors include: Daren Powers, Marc and Lizabeth Lybeck, Robin and Colleen Haffner, JEO Consulting Group, Xcel Energy, First Community Bank, J.A. Counter and Associates, Pete's Pizza, Family Dentistry and Anchor Bank.

The list of volunteer opportunities is lengthy.

Groups of volunteers will be stationed at the community gardens, Hatfield Park, Citizens Field, Westfields Hospital, Saratoga Park in Star Prairie, Perch Lake, Prairie Covanent Church and several other locations.

Students will be installing signs at the city parks.

A petting zoo will be located at Mary Park for the pre-kindergarten students.

Choir students will perform for several nursing homes.

A group of students will participate in a road side cleanup with the Rotary Club.

Another group will build a fire pit at The SPACE.

Other students will do storm drain stenciling, Moberg said. That's when students stencil phrases such as "No dumping" near the city's storm drains.

"We did that in the past, but they need to be redone," she said.

Three freshman homerooms will organize a citywide clothing drive to benefit Five Loaves Food Shelf. Students will collect non-perishable items and clothing donations outside residences on May 15 between 8:30- 11:30 a.m. For more information on the food drive, contact Jessica Ferguson by e-mail at jessicaf@newrich or by calling 715-243-1205

Interacting with the public and working together to benefit the community is a major goal of the Search Institute.

Anyone is able to participate in Service Learning Day. For more information, contact Trish Moberg by e-mail at trishm@newrich or by calling 715-243-1212.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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