Taylor students give back in annual service day | Local news

Students in the Taylor Community School Corporation came together to give back to the community Tuesday.

The Taylor district, home to nearly 2,300 students, began its annual service learning day last year after Superintendent Chris Smith visited Indiana State University, which encourages its students to participate in service learning. Smith said he was motivated to get his school involved.

Taylor students visited organizations and neighborhoods around Howard County, helping to clean up and lend a hand where needed.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight visited the elementary school to encourage students and show his support for the project.

“Thanks to Taylor school corporation, especially thank you to the young students that are going to go out and pick up and clean up and do their part to clean up our community,” Goodnight said. “Any time we get our youth involved, it teaches them civic pride and I think it’s beneficial for the community. I think it’s very beneficial for them.”

At the elementary school, students separated plastic shopping bags for the Kokomo Urban Outreach, which uses them for Buddy Bags, providing food for children in poverty over weekends. Others learned from Bona Vista about different kinds of disabilities, and younger children decorated greeting cards.

Across town, students walked with the Kokomo Peace Watch, learning about the group’s efforts to keep its neighborhood safe and clean. Others worked in the Mental Health America community garden, and another group cleaned shingles at the Seiberling Mansion, which recently began work to repair its roof.

James Mitchell, a sophomore at Taylor, handed shingles to other students in an assembly line at the Seiberling. He said he was amazed at how well the assembly line was working and how the students worked together.

“I think this is good,” he said. “I don’t see any other schools doing this.”

At the Kokomo Rescue Mission, students cleaned windows and mulched flower beds. Kraid Kailey, outreach ministry administrator, said he appreciated the students’ work.

“This is a huge blessing,” he said. “It’s a lot of man hours.”

Last year, the Taylor school board developed four main goals focusing on learning, marketing, financial incentives for faculty and staff and community service.

Smith reached out to the United Way of Howard County and asked them to…

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