Dozens of college students from across Kansas, who hope to one day teach in the state, will be lending helping hands today at four Lawrence elementary schools.
About 85 volunteers will grab rakes, pruners and shovels for landscaping jobs at Deerfield, Quail Run, Woodlawn and New York schools as part of Outreach to Teach by the Kansas National Education Association’s Student Program.
The community service project “gives people a good understanding of what it’s going to be like when they are a teacher,” said Avaree McDonald, a Baker University senior and music education major. “And I think it definitely shows the schools that people are interested in trying to help even though education is kind of in a rough time right now.”
The students are in Lawrence this weekend for a KNEA Student Program leadership conference. McDonald and President-elect Megan Lutz, a Kansas State University junior and elementary education major, started the volunteer project after participating in a national one last summer.
“We were inspired so we wanted to bring it back to Kansas,” McDonald said.
KNEA advisers and parent groups at the schools will join the students. They will work to clear brush, haul mulch and otherwise spruce up the outside of the schools at a time when many Kansas schools need outside help because of the state’s fiscal crisis.