BHS students honor MLK with Day of Service

Left: Contributed/BCISD
Burnet High School football players help clean up flood debris at a home in Kingsland as part of their MLK Day of Service on Jan. 21. BHS students did not take a dy off, but instead served their community.
Right: Contributed/Kat Carter
In conjunction with MLK Day of Service, BHS National Art Honor Society students met with VFW Post 6974 members and other veterans on Jan. 21 for one-on-one interviews to inspire their upcoming entries to the VFW Auxiliary Art Contest. Students learned the importance of service through this project and were able to thank these veterans for their services to their country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Martin Luther King Jr. Day meant a day off for many school districts, but classes at Burnet Consolidated Independent School District stayed in session and seized the opportunity to turn the day into something meaningful.

Many Burnet High School students set out to serve those in their community and learn the true meaning of service while walking in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and by completing various projects on Monday, Jan. 21.

About 40 football players and eight coaches left school to assist a Kingsland couple in the ongoing cleanup efforts caused by the October floods which destroyed many houses and buildings along the Colorado River.

One group of students went to work clearing trash and debris from one lot, while another group cleared an area of fallen limbs and uprooted trees, placing them in burn piles.

“We didn't want it to just be a day out of school, we wanted them to know the reason behind it and told them about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what he stood for,” said head football coach Jerod Rye. “We showed them different quotes of his, and one that stood out was 'everybody can be great because everybody can serve' and that is a very powerful thing, being able to help someone and getting nothing in return, just serving those people who need it.”

After Rye set the project up through Hill Country Fellowship Church, who contacted the Highland Lakes Crisis Network to seek out someone in need of assistance, the students got to work alongside Texas Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry members who have been assisting families in the area since the flood, putting their hard work into a project geared towards helping others.

“The kids started to realize the satisfaction you get out of going to help someone,” Rye said. “We didn't know the people, we just came to commit a day to helping people who need it.”

Rye pointed out that a residence on the other side of the river was utilizing excavators and bulldozers to clear their land, while the homeowners they were helping had only the work of a group of football players and coaches.

“We got a bunch done for them and it was neat to look at the end of the day and see the work we had done,” Rye said. “At the end of the day, the lady mentioned how hard it had been since the floods, and this was the first time she had smiled since it all went down.”

A KVUE News team met the group in Kingsland and featured them on the evening slot, though Rye says this project was not done to receive publicity.

“We wanted the message to be that when people need help, you help,” Rye said. “Martin Luther King Jr. wanted peace within the community, and this is a great way to mirror a lot of the things he stood for.”

Rye hopes to continue the legacy and make the day of service an annual event.

“Who knows who it will be next year,” Rye said. “There is always going to be someone who needs help.”

Rye expressed his sincere thanks to the school district for allowing the players and coaches to step out of the classroom to complete the project.

“A big thank you goes to the administration for letting us do that, taking the kids out of the school setting and letting them learn outside of the classroom is pretty awesome,” Rye said.

Another event held in conjunction with BHS's day of service was held at the Highland Lakes VFW Auxiliary Post 6974 in Burnet. Members of the National Art Honor Society were transported to the Post to meet with 12 Veterans for one-on-one interviews to spark inspiration for the upcoming Creative Art Contest held by the Auxiliary in the Spring.

“We pulled together 12 veterans who attended, and 15 art students and Ms. Timmons came to meet with them,” Auxiliary President Kat Carter said. “They sat and visited for two-and-a-half hours and found out what the veterans did while they were in the service.”

Some veterans brought artifacts to show the students, including photo albums, hand carvings from Africa, and a dress sword brought by a Marine.

“It was just awesome,” Carter said. “It gave them a chance to talk about what they did; many of them were in the service over 20 years.”

Though this community service project didn't include physical labor, these students had the opportunity to connect with people who have served their countries and protected their loved ones' freedoms while learning about the importance of service.

“It was so heartwarming and just perfect,” Carter said.

The NAHS then traveled to the Hill Country Humane Society in Buchanan Dam to help clean up the facilities and take care of the animals under their care.

Other groups of students worked on various other projects, epitomizing community service throughout the area.

The BHS Culinary Arts students set up their “haute dog” stand at the school, inviting all first Burnet area responders to come up to the campus and enjoy a hotdog as thanks for their service.

The Interact club, BETC, and Highlandettes traveled to the Boys and Girls Club of Burnet to help clean and organize the facility.

FFCLA students traveled to Little Texans for cleanup and Pafford Place Assisted Living Facility to meet with residents and participate in games, dancing, reading and many other activities.

The Guitar Club traveled to Burnet Nursing Home to play for and meet residents at that facility.

Though some may grumble at the thought of going to school when other district's stayed home, BHS students chose to give the day meaning, and jumped at the opportunity to travel across the Highland Lakes area in an effort to provide community service to many different individuals, businesses and organizations, making more of a difference than any normal day-off would have.

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