East Grand students prep for annual service project
Communities are, at their core, little more than an amalgamation of hundreds or thousands of individual interactions between citizens.
The tone and content of those interactions are largely what defines communities. We generally refer to those types of citizen interactions, in either formal or informal settings, as the foundation of the civic process. But civilized society is not a naturally occurring phenomenon and without the concerted efforts of local government, myriad institutions and citizens in general public discourse is more likely to resemble chaos than collaboration.
Teaching kids how to function within the civic process is difficult, and something that does not necessarily lend itself well to textbook instruction. For several years now though eighth-grade students at East Grand Middle School (EGMS) in Granby have received annual instruction in the civic process by completing work on a service project. The service project is part of their yearly classwork with Granby social studies teacher Abby Loberg.
The service project’s intention is for the students to engage in the civic process and learn about the complexities of attempting to accomplish community-based efforts. Often times the projects take the form of some type of fundraiser, such as last year’s “Place Your Bets for the Vets” event held at Granby Ranch.
This year eighth graders from EGMS will be holding dragon boat races on Grand Lake with an event called, “Knight in Shining Armor Dragon Boat Races for Shining Stars”.
Avery Mutch is one of Abbey Loberg’s students. The races will be held on Grand Lake, with the course running from roughly the Grand Lake Yacht Club to the volleyball courts on the Grand Lake swimming beach, going a totally of about 250 meters, said Mutch. Eighth-grader James Gallegos pointed out that the event is scheduled to feature live music from middle school teacher Scotty Hick’s band and food donated from local restaurants.
Student Shug Reynolds discussed the decision made by the eighth-grade class to donate the proceeds from the event to the Shining Stars Foundation saying, “it is a good charity. They help kids with cancer. It connects kids to other kids that they can relate to.”
In the lead up to the event Loberg was able to secure permission from the Town of Grand Lake for the event and students have been contacting local individuals and businesses seeking sponsorships and donations. When the event kicks off in mid-May each eighth-grader from EGMS will be responsible for two hours of work, either in the setup phase, the cleanup phase or as onsite help during the event.
When the student’s were asked what the purpose of such service projects were Shug Reynolds said, “it is so we can learn how to do things, how to do community service and make a difference for somebody.” James Gallegos added, “It helps us learn how to organize.” Avery Mutch echoed their sentiments, “It helps us learn how to get involved in the community.”
The dragon boat races will have an early start for the summer season as the races are scheduled for mid-May. The event will be conducted as a double elimination tournament with competitive heats. A total of 16 teams have signed up.
The Knight in Shining Armor Dragon Boat Races will be held at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14 on Grand Lake just off shore from the Grand Lake swimming beach. There is a $150 price for sponsoring or fielding a boat. Each boat will feature a 10-person team that will provide rowing power for the boat. The boats will be helmed by non-team members who are trained in piloting the crafts. Donations to the event are tax deductible. Dinner and soft drinks will also be provided at the event for a $10 fee.
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