FAIRMONT– Fairmont Area High School has opened up applications for local projects that students can complete for the 2023 Cardinals Give Back Day. During this day over 850 high school students are available to work on a variety of projects across the district’s coverage area.
During the day of service groups of high school students will complete various projects within the district’s service area. The main purpose of the day is to have students give back to the community on behalf of their school.
“They’ve supported new additions like the (vocational center), passing operating referendums, coming to games and performances. … I’ve been in a lot of different communities and it’s really awesome to see the connection that the schools have as part of Fairmont,” said High School Co-Principal Chad Brusky.
For students participating in the day of service their projects can be a way to bring them closer to members of their community.
“I hope the kids get a renewed sense of pride in the community and where they live; that fulfillment of doing something for neighbors and the community as a whole, being able to … take ownership in the city,” said Brusky.
This is the first time the school has been able to coordinate the day of service since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many in-person activities were able to resume last year, Brusky said the school was reluctant to organize the event due to uncertainties regarding community interest.
“A big part of the COVID precautions was not knowing people’s willingness to have students on their property and not wanting to make people feel … at risk,” said Brusky.
Anyone within the district’s service area is eligible to submit a project application whether they’re an individual, business, nonprofit or other group. In previous years these projects included tasks like cleaning city parks, clearing out basements, or volunteering with the Humane Society. In addition to these tasks the school is considering putting together groups which could perform specialized tasks such as having a group of musicians perform a concert at a nursing home or having a group of athletes put in a dock. Applicants are advised to request an appropriate amount of students for a two to three hour work period and consider pooling tasks with neighbors if they don’t have enough work to do. Another important consideration is making sure tasks can be safely performed by students.
“We don’t want to put kids in a dangerous situation, but we also don’t want to put property in a dangerous situation,” said Brusky.
Brusky doubts the school will have to deny any projects; enough students will be participating to form 43 teams of 20.
“The biggest thing is if you have any projects no matter how big or how small, please submit an application because the more we can get the bigger influence we can have,” said Brusky.
If the school receives too many applications Brusky said priority would likely go to projects which are closer to the school to simplify logistics and transportation. If the school receives too few applications they may only have older grades participate or have leftover students perform tasks around the high school campus.
The event itself will be held on May 19 or May 26 in the event of inclement weather. If both days are rained out the event will be canceled. After students complete their tasks the school will hold a team building activity and a lunch.
“It’s a good culture building piece for the building; go out, give back and then celebrate the school as a family,” said Brusky.
Applications for Cardinals Give Back Day can be found in the school’s weekly newsletter, the district’s Facebook page, the district’s website and in the office of the high school. Applications are due May 1. Applications can be submitted to Chad Brusky, 900 Johnson St. Fairmont, MN 56031 in person or via mail, faxed to 507-235-4130, or emailed to email@example.com.