Students Helping Nursing Home Residents

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ORWIGSBURG -- A team of students in Schuylkill County swarmed a nursing home Monday to finish a project for the residents. Teachers, students and business owners all pitched in to help.

The outdoors has been turned into a classroom. The course: how to help the community and learn something along the way.

About 100 Blue Mountain School District students were at the Orwigsburg Center nursing home. The kids did all kinds of work to spruce up the place.

Student Taylor Kerstetter said she enjoys the break from the traditional class room.

"I am learning different skills, mulching and landscaping and I am also learning community skills and social and planning and a bunch of different things," said Kerstetter.

Student Jakob Biever said learning how to help strangers is important.

"I think it's great that we're helping people out instead of sitting in the classroom the whole day, helping other people is better than other things we'd be doing," said Biever.

The project is months in the making. Two teachers decided to pool their resources.

Science instructor Tom Bonner said the planning process was made part of his class.

"They came in and did a lot of the science work, talking about the types of plants whether they are annuals or perennials, what will be non-aggressive so we don't have any problems," said Bonner.

English teacher Abby Witmier said her class asked for donations.

"They've secured all the donations for this project by writing letters to local businesses and now they're putting their work in the classroom into effect."

About 15 businesses provided everything from tools to plants.

Businessman Dan Edmonds owns Pleasant Valley Landscaping

"It's nice to see these kids now days what physical hard work can get them." Edmonds said.

School district officials predict projects like this will continue next year.

If you have something in mind, give the Blue Mountain School District a call.

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