By Joseph Langley, student reporter for Minarets Press
O’NEALS — For four years now, Minarets has held a Community Day to close out the first semester of the year. This year has been no different. In fact, this year, it was bigger and better than ever. Students all around campus rose up to do something truly magic, and to give back to the community that constantly gives to us.
History teacher Benjamin Regonini tied blankets and wrapped toys for patients at Valley Children’s Hospital. History teacher Kaitlin Morgan worked in that same vein, writing cards and creating gift tags for those same patients. Ag teachers Richard Chapman, Kenna Sandberg, Keeley Hall, Jessica Sweet, and Kristi Mattes all teamed up for the huge undertaking of Adopt a Family, as well as tying blankets.
Media teacher Juan Ortiz ran a painting operation in the Media Lounge, painting the huge wall behind the projector and a side wall in Studio A black. This not only looks better, but the wall in Studio A provides a nice backdrop for filming. Art teacher Jill Gamble, in a long-standing tradition, made toys for shelter animals at the SPCA.
Projects teacher Therese Righter teamed up with seniors Rebecca Townsend and Payton Poore for their SLE. They worked on tying blankets, making cards, and raising money for patients on kidney dialysis. SPED teacher Wendy Swanson teamed up with senior Jose Reza for his SLE, running a donation drive for the homeless, as well as putting together clothing packages and meals. Spanish teacher Karen Up took up the challenge of replanting the garden beds by the butterfly bench, beautifying the campus even more!
A particularly unique Community Day project was music teacher Brett Moglia’s. He put on an hour-long live stream, showcasing the amazing talent of the Minarets Showband, and filling the air of the 300 hallway with beautiful music. Another aspect of Community Day that truly raised it to the next level was the amount of offsite activities. English teacher Kayla West went to Spring Valley Elementary to bond with the young students there. As a part of this activity, they helped the students create their own monsters!
Many groups took on the necessary mantle of cleaning up the community — but they also didn’t stop at just cleaning Minarets! Math teacher David Elm cleaned the North Fork Recreation Center, math teacher Dylan Grimes cleaned up Bass Lake, math teacher Sean Hileman and SPED teacher Jennifer Garner cleaned up the Boys and Girls Club, and PE teacher Jay Smoljian and English teacher Michael Vaughan went down to Woodward Park. Mr. Hansen took on the very necessary task of picking up trash along Road 200.
History teacher Bob Kelly, meanwhile, took a group up to North Fork on a Forest Service project. This project included maintaining the Cedars Interpretive Trail at the Bass Lake Ranger District Headquarters of the Sierra National Forest. English teacher Michael Land worked at the Poverello House, SPED teacher Elizabeth Whitcomb went to the Finegold Creek Trail to provide reservation and maintenance, and PE teacher Karra Zamora and counselor Jessica Chacon visited a senior living facility.
Clearly, the Mustangs were busy this Community Day. The projects were far bigger than ever before, and the teachers did a fantastic job coming up with these ideas, and facilitating them. Even more importantly, however, are the students. It is extremely rare for over 500 people to rise up in a single day to help the community, and yet, this is exactly what the students at Minarets have done. This determination, strength of character, and care for the community is what leads to an amazing world.
The fourth annual 2019 Community Day may be over, but community will never end.
Original article published by Minarets Press: https://minaretspress4.wixsite.com/minaretspress/post/a-day-a-year-a-lifetime-of-community