• The volunteer program was started back in 1997 with an aim to build a better community and to increase the civic responsibility of its students. By being an outreach to the community, it helps students become more aware of the needs of others while helping them personally gain a greater level of awareness and grow in self-esteem. In order to be a part of the class for the upcoming year, you must be entering your junior or senior year and you had to have attended at least three volunteer projects and demonstrate leadership abilities.

    Every semester the students are assigned groups and in the groups they either visit the assisted living home, help out at the other schools, or visit their Adopted grandparents. Each pair of students visits an elderly person or couple in the community who may not have family around here or may just enjoy having company. The activities vary but sometimes the students play games, do crafts, bake, watch TV, or just talk with them. It is an opportunity to learn a lot more about each of them and by the end of the year, they seem like a part of the family.

    The other part of our rotation is to visit the schools. The members of the Volunteer Class help out at Prairie Creek and the Intermediate school. While volunteering, the students are assigned a variety of duties such as helping making copies, crafts, and reading to the students, and helping students review for tests with flashcards.

    While some of the students are helping at the schools, a different group will go to the Assisted Lifestyles of Black Hawk, which is an assisted living home in our community. Everyday they have different activities there, for example: Monday is nail day, or Wednesday they have ice cream and sing with a guitar player who comes in, or Thursday is movie day, so the students help with the activities and talk with the residents.

    To be a member of the Volunteer Class, students have to attend at least three volunteer projects a semester during their freshman and sophomore year. As part of the class, the students are also in charge of the school-wide Volunteer Club. The club is open to anyone who wants to join or volunteer, usually about 20% of the student body, and they are the majority of the participants in our semester projects.

    Each member of the class is paired up with one or two partners at the beginning of each semester and their task is to find a need or problem in the community and develop a volunteer project around solving or helping to improve that need. The students have done everything from landscape projects to helping at domestic abuse shelters to painting and remodeling to lake clean up and volunteering at day cares. The projects are usually on a Saturday and occasionally during school, and have taken place in Spring Hill, Olathe, Hillsdale, Greensburg, and Kansas City.