Schools Rule: Jackson High School students help with community leaf pick-up

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 7:24 AM EST
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - Jackson High School students branched out into the Jackson community to help people one leaf at a time.

Waking up at around 5 a.m. to rake leaves on a Saturday is not what most high school kids are doing. Kevin Barkholz, an English teacher at Jackson High School, and 30 students showed up in force to clean up yards.

“The kids are great. They are showing resiliency, a lot of smiles,” said Barkholz. “Hot chocolate and doughnuts always help in the morning, too, so it has been a fun experience.”

Many homeowners who needed help happened to be elderly folk who find it difficult to get out and take care of fallen leaves.

“There are a lot of members in Jackson that need the help,” said Jesse Sauceda, a student. “They probably can’t rake leaves themselves, so we go out and go to a bunch of different houses and hopefully help those people.”

The free service program has been around for a long time at Jackson High School.

“We represent Jackson High as a whole when we come out to the community and do things like this,” said Natalie Rowbothem, a student.

“It is hard work, definitely, but it is definitely rewarding,” said Sauceda.

As for people whose yards are now free of the fall foliage, Barkholz said they are very appreciative.

“Just got an email from a resident this morning, ‘thank you so much, they were so quiet this morning I didn’t even know they were here, and the yard looks great,’” said Barkholz. “So those little positive pieces of feedback give us some juice to make us feel decent, and I think that is something kids really need now.”

If you didn’t get the chance to sign up for student labor, you can rake your leaves to the curb for the city leaf collection. Jackson will begin its second round of collections starting Nov. 27.

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