Taking pride in school

Wapakoneta Middle School students came together on Monday afternoon to take pride in their school and help clean it up.

Students and staff celebrated the first-ever Pride Day, an idea that came about in a teacher-leadership team meeting whose focus is community pride.

“We want the kids to be proud of their school and take care of it and have some ownership,” Wapakoneta Middle School Principal Ray Payne said.

Students and teachers are divided up into groups at the school, and each group has a different focus that is tied to a community organization or theme. The team who came up with this idea is a part of the Community Pride Group. After brainstorming, they thought this would be a good idea for the school to participate in.

“Our goal for today is we are trying to have our school become like our community and a community that cares for each other,” sixth-grade language arts teacher Paula Quatman said.

Quatman said that it is important for the students to know that whatever they do for their community is what they will get from it. On Monday, the school was treated like the community, and the students stepped up and picked up trash, pulled weeds, along with other outdoor chores around the school.

“If you don’t expect children to do things, they won’t do it, and we want to teach them to be civic minded,” Quatman said. “I’d like for our kids to not walk by something and leave it, instead, we want them to pick it up and throw it away.”

Sixth-grade students Audrey Coil and Katie Klopfenstein agreed this was a good project to be involved.

“There’s a lot of trash that we don’t see,” Coil said. “If’s there’s trash, pick it up.”

Klopfenstein explained the students were split into groups, and each group had a designated area to help pick up trash and pull weeds. Designated areas included the front the middle school, the football field, bleachers and track.

“This helps the environment,” Klopfenstein said.

Sixth-grader D.J. O’Neill agreed.

“It’s good for the environment,” O’Neill said. “So there’s not trash lying around.”

Coil noted that this is something that should be continued next year.

“It’s just a good idea,” Coil said.