Westport Central School students assemble outside before the Adopt-a-Town day May 23.
Students at Westport Central School spent a day on the town May 23 learning how to give back to their community.
The school participated in an Adopt Your Town Day throughout the town, a program that was expanded from a previous cleanup day at Ballard Park by students in third through sixth grades.
“One of our character education areas is community service, and last year we had done the cleanup with the elementary classes. During the school year we started to think of a way to make this an event for the entire school,” third grade teacher Michelle Rawson said. “I pitched it to Adam Facteau and Cheryl Phillips and they took it to the student council and it took on a whole new life when they got involved.”
We received a lot of help from the administration and the board and the Chamber of Commerce and town were very helpful,” Facteau said. “It is an extension of the classroom and a compliment to the community service aspect of the character education.”
“This is really a community service learning project,” Phillips said. “Every student has been very involved and most everyone has a smile on their face.”
“I am incredibly proud of our school community reaching out to the Westport community,” Principal Michele Friedman said. “They are so supportive of the school and this is a great way for us to show, en masse, our appreciation.”
Students helped clean several locations throughout the town, including the fire department, the Depot Theatre, Lee Park, the town recreation trail, Ballard Park, the town beach, Camp Dudley, Main Street sidewalks, the island at the intersection of Main Street and Champlain Avenue, The Westport Library and the cemetery on Main Street.
“The work that was done there was just amazing,” Facteau said. “You would not recognize it.”
Those receiving service were pleased with the work the students did.
“This is a wonderful thing to see these students participate in such a great community project,” Shami McCormick at the Depot Theatre said. “Them helping us make this place, which is such a visual focal point in the community, look good is a blessing.”
“This is a fortunate venture between the town and the school, and they need to be commended for it,” town councilman Michael “Ike” Tyler said. “There are ways that the students can get a great education outside of the classroom walls, and this is one of them.”
“This is fantastic to have the school participate in a cleanup day like this,” Supervisor Dan Connell said, who added the town would be passing a resolution honoring the school for its service to the community.