Klamath Falls, OR – More than 20 valunteers and more than 400 students spent Thursday giving back at Shasta Elementary School. Shasta joined the Klamath Falls City Schools and Blue Zones Project for the fifth annual Give Back Day.

Students pulled weeds, picked up litter, planted native plants, spread mulch, raked and swept up bark on the playground and stained the wooden play structures. Adult volunteers and teachers supervised the children and took on the project to demolish and replace two ball walls.

“Our helpers today did an amazing job,” said Meghan Schols, president of Shasta Elementary Booster Club. “Just getting is all put up and everyone working together. It looks so much better.”

Volunteers included parents, community members and friends from local businesses and government organizations. About six volunteers from the 173rd Fighter Wing, Kingsley Field, along with JJ Nichols, from Les Schwab, and other volunteers took on the ball wall project. Home Depot donated the materials for the new ball walls. “It’s gone remarkably well,” agreed Theresa Ross, Shasta PE teacher.

Students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade spent what would be their regular PE time on
all their many projects. Sixth graders were at outdoor school this week, but helped out by
painting the new wall ball boards last week. One special project brought native plants to the Mrs. Polsinelli Memorial Garden, remembering a teacher who loved helping students learn about the outdoors. Akimi King, biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, brought donated native plants, taught the students how to plant them and about the importance of native habitats. “The kids are always willing to work outside. I just love it,” King said. “They are so enthusiastic. They’re helpful. They’re a bunch of smiles all around.”

A few other KCSD schools took on projects to help out, too.

Students at Falcon Heights gave back on Thursday by helping box fruits and vegetables for the Produce Connection at the Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank. Henley High FFA and Key Club guided Henley Elementary students in creating a pumpkin patch on the Henley Complex. The Klamath County School District hosts a give back day for the rest of its schools in the fall. The first happened last October.

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