SUNBURY — It was announced this week that Big Walnut Middle School will serve as a Youth Service America (YSA) lead agency for Global Youth Service Day on May 6.
“Big Walnut Middle School desires to join local community partners to organize the third annual Big Walnut Service Day,” a press release said. “With this landmark event, 100% of staff and students at BWMS will participate in service learning.”
YSA said lead agencies are the official local organizers for the national service day.
A committee of 25 students plan to survey other students, staff and the community to identify volunteer opportunities. Based on the responses, more than 650 students and 60 adult staff at BWMS will be divided into service teams. On May 6, a service-themed assembly will start the day, and then the service teams will go to more than 50 sites and do volunteer work before returning to school. According to the release, the service may consist of tutoring at other schools, cleaning up local parks and neighborhoods, and participating in a food drive.
“Service Day has had a large impact on student leadership development and supports our district’s mission to inspire and guide each student by promoting good deeds, academic achievement and engaged citizenship,” said Josh Frame, principal of Big Walnut Middle School, in the release.
“YSA is a leading global nonprofit that activates young people, ages 5-25, to find their voice, take action, and acquire powerful civic and 21st Century skills as they solve problems facing their communities,” said the release. “YSA supports its activation campaigns, including Global Youth Service Day, with grants, training and resources, and recognition programs for young people and their adult champions.”
Global Youth Service Day for youth has been taking place for 34 years. It is described as “the largest youth service and civic action event in the world and the only one that celebrates and creates opportunities for all youth … their communities, and our democracy to thrive by working together for the common good.”
BWMS received grant funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and AmeriCorps along with training and support from YSA.
Thursday at BWMS and some of the other schools in the district, it will be “Purple Up BW” all day. April is the month of the military child, and the district has teamed up with Big Walnut Apparel for a fundraiser to support military families which a shirt, yard sign and other items. BWMS is among those designated by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) with the Purple Star Award as a military-friend school, and students are asked to wear their shirt.
The other ODE-designated Purple Star recipient buildings in the district are Big Walnut Early Learning Center, Big Walnut Elementary School, Big Walnut High School and Big Walnut Intermediate School.
“The Purple Star Award for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military,” the ODE website said.
“We have several events each year to bring our military-connected families together,” said the Big Walnut’s district website.
The district has Good Friday off, but there will be a communitywide Easter Egg Hunt starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at the pavilion area of General Rosecrans Elementary, 301 S. Miller Drive, Sunbury.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.