The Transylvania Times -

Rosman Senior Students Spend A Day In Service - Rosman, NC


October 12, 2017

Courtesy Photo

Erica Kitchen organizes a shelf at the Tiger Town Thrift Store.

The annual tradition of Senior Service Day is a chance to instill in Rosman High School students the idea of helping others.

On Oct. 3., 73 students and seven adults worked at seven different locations, with a total of 440 work hours donated to better the Rosman community. "This was my first time chaperoning a group," said teacher Nancy Sanders. "It was so rewarding to see our students jump right in and get to work. They were so genuine in everything they did throughout the day."

One of the biggest accomplishments of the day revolved around the HOSA (future health professional) students completing 533 vision screenings for students in grades one through five, seventh and 10th at Rosman High, Rosman Middle and Rosman Elementary school, and T.C. Henderson Elementary School.

Amy Parker, school nurse, said that a student's vision may influence scholastic achievements. "As a direct result of the vision screenings conducted, many students will be referred to an eye doctor for an eye exam and potentially for glasses," she said. "Without school-based vision screening programs and trained student volunteers to help complete the screenings, many of these students would continue to struggle daily with unknown visual challenges."

This year, 11 students did river cleanup and collected more than 800 pounds of trash. Some of their peculiar finds included a whole tire, a refrigerator door, a washing machine tub and a pickup tailgate.

"Who does that? Why do people just throw their trash in the river?" asked senior Kaylin Lewand-owski. "I'm glad we are able to clean and also glad there isn't more trash here."

David Whitmire, of Headwaters Outfitters, which provided the canoes and guides for the group, said it is a "valuable service because it not only connects the kids to the river, but it has a direct impact of removing trash."

"It helps both the river and people using the river and our community as a whole," he said.

At T.C. Henderson Elementary, students painted and cleaned flower beds. "It was great to have our students see great role models of work ethic and also giving back to their community," Principal Audrey Renau said. "The students pulled weeds and cleaned up the flower gardens, which now look beautiful. The hallway is adorned with tiger paws. It was an awesome experience for our students."

"We didn't get to spend a lot of time with them, but socializing with the kids made my day," added senior Alyssa Myers.

At Rosman Elementary, students took fifth-grade pictures and helped them paint their spirit rock. They worked in an outside storage shed and in classrooms.

Rosman Elementary Lead Teacher Crystal Whitman helps organize the seniors. "I couldn't believe how grown up and helpful our RHS seniors were," she said. "We had rave reviews ranging from positive student to student interaction to that great feeling of getting tasks done that have been on hold for years. We do so appreciate the help and are so proud of these kids!"

The Tiger Town Thrift Store was another service location.

"It's important to help the thrift store because they're providing meals for the elderly. We made a difference," said senior Katlin Connor.

Students sorted, organized and purged supplies at the thrift store. Across the street at the high school, the students were doing more of the same.

"It's amazing how things can accumulate over the months and years," said Rosman High Principal Jason Ormsby. "Often we just don't have the time or energy to deal with the piles. We also were even able to clean in some areas that don't get enough attention, like under the gym bleachers."

Students also worked at Little Blessings Day Care for the first time. They were able to help clean the playground, put down new mulch, put together some toys and just give out some extra hugs.

Courtesy Photo

The Rosman High School Class of 2018.

"Senior Service Day is always one of my favorite days of the year," said Tracie Owen. "I have been to several places since the start of the tradition, but I would say Little Blessings has definitely been one of my favorites! Playing with the children, helping to clean up the playground, decorating for fall, and painting art tables brought back fond memories of my own son at that age. It's always great to give back to the community and to influence teenagers to give back, too."

Rosman High School provided each student with a T-shirt to commemorate the day, as well as lunch and snacks, with an annual cost around $800.

In the past six years, this event has been funded entirely by grants from Haywood Electric and the True Hero organization. If you would like to help sponsor this activity in the future, contact Julie Queen at [email protected] or 862-4284.


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