(This blog post was prepared by Ms. Stalter-Allen.)
On Monday January 17th, over 125 Woodbury students, parents, faculty, staff and community members joined together with America in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy by celebrating a day on – not a day off.
Beginning with breakfast and a short music program that featured our very own Mrs. Denise Dunham and Mr. Justin Tompkins, our assembly answered Dr. King’s famous question “What are you doing for others?” Afterwards - armed with arts and crafts, mops and scrub brushes, and culinary supplies – Woodbury Junior Senior High School’s finest went out among the neighborhood and turned Dr. King’s powerful words into action.
Many of our students chose to stay on site at the high school to perform housekeeping chores. Mrs. Nikki Roberts, Ms. Eliza Cadorette and Mrs. Theresa Slusser were among the many that supervised our young volunteers as they polished banisters, cleaned trophy displays and scrubbed stairwells. The Maintenance Department joined this enormous undertaking by organizing an endless amount of supplies and materials to keep everyone working hard.
Mrs. Kylie Pringle is a new member of the Woodbury Jr. Sr. High faculty, but jumped right into the effort and chaperoned students at the Woodbury Mews. Over 30 students spent the afternoon visiting the residents and spent time doing arts and crafts, playing games and giving manicures. “But mostly”, reported Mr. Ed Murphy, our Director of Pupil Personnel Services, “they spent time in good conversation and sharing stories about their lives and families.”
Mrs. Ivy Pinkney-Davis, also new to our staff, lead a group of 8th graders to the Bethlehem Baptist Church where students were able to clean and organize various parts of the church and offices. The Seventh Day Adventist and Central Baptist Churches were also hosts to this great effort. Mr. Joe Pegues, a high school teacher, and his crew partnered with the Woodbury Cooperative Ministries and organized packages and supplies for the Food Bank. Mr. Al Kilpatrick, a Junior High teacher, with his son A.J., chopped vegetables and prepared other ingredients with a culinary crew at the Central Baptist Church – where the Miller family cooks soup that will go to feed the homeless in Camden.
At the day’s end, over 125 people proudly served their school and community. On that next Tuesday morning, the Woodbury High School was “buzzing” about the fun and value that came from the prior day’s events. Many students have asked about committing their time on a more regular basis. Some are interested in other opportunities within their community and a few have asked about starting an after-school Service Learning Club.
With only 357 days until the 2012 Day of Service – students and staff at Woodbury Junior Senior High School are already planning to expand this awesome event.