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West Kings O2 students learn value of community service

Josh Newton-Rath, Jennelle King and Claire Levy were part of an O2 class that recently helped community volunteers prepare a turkey supper at the Lions Hall in Aylesford for a fundraiser in support of the grad class at West Kings District High School.
Josh Newton-Rath, Jennelle King and Claire Levy were part of an O2 class that recently helped community volunteers prepare a turkey supper at the Lions Hall in Aylesford for a fundraiser in support of the grad class at West Kings District High School. - Ashley Thompson

AUBURN - A select group of West Kings District High School students is getting a taste of what it’s like to serve their community.

A cohort of options and opportunities (O2) program students recently dropped by the Lions Hall in Aylesford to help community volunteers prepare a turkey dinner dished out as part fundraiser in support of graduation activities.

“It’s all about community service and helping out our school and the Lions Club here in Aylesford,” said O2 teacher Lynn Little.

“We helped them earlier this year with a turkey supper for Christmas.”

The students completed a food preparation course prior to helping local volunteers slice ten turkeys and prep vegetables.

“A lot of their learning is hands on, acquiring real-life skills,” said Little, who noted that learning is not limited to the classroom in the O2 program

The O2 students learn how to build a resume while completing a number of activities offering unique career-exploration opportunities.

“It’s a lovely group, a great group of kids.”

Grade 10 Jennelle King applied for a spot in O2 in hopes that the service-learning projects would help her plan for life after high school.

“We get to go out and help other people and it makes me feel really good about it,” she said.

“It helps you figure out what you might want to do after high school.”

Aylesford and District Lions Club president Fred Huntley commended the students for demonstrating professionalism while completing their service work.

“The students did a very professional job, with concern for safety and property. I was Impressed,” he said, noting that parent volunteers are also a wonderful source of support.

“I also found I could count on the class to provide other services as our Lions Club, with declining membership, counts on more and more for community input.”

Huntley said the students certainly made a difference with the free turkey dinner the club hosted at Christmas.

“(We) fed 140 grateful seniors who used the experience to meet and have fellowship with people that they sometimes only meet at that time of year. Without the students, it would have been a very stressful and trying time for our fellowship. Thanks to the 02 class, it was a great time for the seniors of our community.”

The freewill offering turkey dinner for the grad class was a huge success, with 300 meals selling in an hour.

The event brought in $5,000 for the grad class, Huntley said.

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