by Lisa Tome
Nearly 170 eighth graders from Perryville Middle School gave back to the community recently.
To complete service learning requirements, the students painted fire hydrants, planted flowers, cleaned up trash, and painted park and playground equipment in the downtown. At the school, a group of students spruced up the outdoor classroom, explained Science teacher Kate Ramey.
Shannon Poole was planting flowers behind town hall. "Preserving the past will affect the future," said Poole.
Mackenzie Comer painted play tunnels at the mini park near the police station. "We got to be helpful," said Comer.
Jack Duff came up with the design for a large play tunnel. Duff and his classmates decorated the tunnel with their handprints. "This shows the mind of a child at play. I am a child and part of it," said Duff.
School guidance counselor Leon Alexander was photographing students at work. "We're teaching them how to plant and how to paint. I think they are getting a sense of community pride," said Alexander.
Perryville public works staffer Don Stanley said he is grateful for the volunteers.
"If we had done the painting it would have taken longer because we don't like to paint," said Stanley. "It's encouraging seeing the kids do this. They have done a good job, saved the town money and it gives them a sense of pride."