Wildcats in the house: Springwood students volunteer for Lanett clean-up

Published 9:00 am Saturday, April 27, 2024

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LANETT — In a continuing tradition that goes back years, Friday was Wildcat Workday. Assisted by their teachers, Springwood students in grades 7-12 went to five work sites in the local area to do good deeds by taking care of needed chores.

Beneficiaries of this volunteer labor included the Chattahoochee Humane Society on Fairfax Bypass in Valley, the Earl Cook Recreation Area on West Point Lake and the Chattahoochee Fuller Center’s ReUse Store, the Lanett Athletic Hall and the L.B. Sykes Community Center, all in Lanett.

At L.B. Sykes, junior high teachers Merrielle Key, Joey Burch and Suzanne Cook accompanied a large group of seventh, eighth and ninth-grade students to take care of work details including planting flowers, tilling the soil in some raised bed gardens, washing the senior center buses, and adding a new coat of light blue paint to the outdoor pool. 

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At the ReUse Store, 21 eleventh-grade students came with science teacher Lee Pino to help CFCP Executive Director Robin Pierre and her staff straighten up inside the store, organize inventory, and do cleanup work out back.

The Athletic Hall opened in 1928 and is still used as a practice facility for basketball. City firefighters like to play pickleball inside the gym in their off times.

“We had some ninth and tenth-grade students here today and they did a great job,” said Curtis Lewis of the city’s recreation department. Lewis’s wife Patsy and Martha Scott of the Lanett Restoration Committee joined them in cleaning up inside the historic building. “They have it looking really good, and we appreciate it,” Curtis Lewis said.

Two busloads of Springwood students led by history teacher Murphy Wood went to the Earl Cook Recreation Area to help out in getting the park ready for the coming summer season. Lots of people will be going to the Earl Cook beach once school is out.

“We are most grateful for the Lanett Restoration Committee,” said Michael Plank. “They have worked with us to come up with opportunities to serve the community where we live. We especially want to thank Board Chairman Steve Wheeler and Patsy Crosby. We also want to thank Valley Walmart. They gave us a grant to purchase the supplies we needed for Wildcat Workday. “

Springwood School is committed to teaching its students the value and importance of leading and serving our local communities. It is expected of each Springwood graduate to have participated in at least 25 hours of community service per year while in grades 9-12. The objectives include:

  • increasing student awareness of the needs of local citizens and inspiring a longing to be a part of systemic change for the better;
  • to increase student awareness of the skills and talents they have to offer and ways they can partner with organizations making an impact in the local area;
  • to increase the likelihood of students to develop a lifelong pattern of service;
  • to develop a recognition of human dignity by working alongside others and improving the quality of life for those they serve;
  • to develop tenacity, adaptability, innovation and patience as many community needs take time to resolve;
  • demonstrate to higher education institutions and possible future employers a history of compassion and service;
  • to give students an opportunity to put into practice the core values learned in the school’s character education program;
  • to develop a partnership between Springwood and the community, and
  • to honor God in our service so that we are not serving just to draw attention to ourselves.


THANKED BY THE MAYOR — Lanett Mayor Jamie Heard was on his way to a meeting when he noticed a group of students doing some work at the L.B. Sykes Community Center. It was part of the annual Wildcat Workday. The mayor was so appreciative on seeing the students planting flowers, working in a raised bed garden, washing the senior center buses and painting the swimming pool floor that he stopped to thank them. Shown above, from left, are middle school science teacher Merrielle Key, Felipe Moura, Mayor Heard, Owen Han, James Do, Ritchi Tshinyama, Danny Phung, Henry Shellman, Elena Lobo, Natalia Quero, Luke Comerford, Abram Shellman, Alec Tran and Farah Trinh.


CLEANING UP THE OLD GYM — The above ninth and tenth grade students at Springwood School had the assignment to clean up the historic Lanett Athletic Hall on Friday’s Wildcat Workday. Members of the Lanett Restoration Committee were there to help. Shown above, in front from left, are Maddie Cooper, Harlee Shaw, Nevaeh Niehoff, Emily Sands and Katherine Stogner. On Row 2, l-r, are Payton Eddy, Caroline Van Schoor, Eva Westbrook and Restoration Committee member Martha Scott. On the top row, l-r, are teachers Marie Ward, Hunter Plant and Sara Sands.