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Community Service Ain’t No Game

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On Friday, January 20th, tens of students from Palmer Ridge flocked to Lewis Palmer Elementary School to help run games, serve hot chocolate, and greet 1st-6th graders who came to enjoy their winter carnival. Although winter carnivals at the elementary schools are an important way to get service hours, they also provide a rewarding experience for the volunteers.
Those volunteering through both National Honors Society (NHS) and Key Club arrived around 4:30 in the afternoon to receive instructions from the volunteer coordinator and eat pizza provided by LPES. In addition, all volunteers were given a “thank you” bag filled with water, candy bars, peppermints, and coupons to local restaurants.
From there, students dispersed to their individual stations where they worked games such as “ice fishing”, “carnival bean bag toss”, “lollipop tree” and “super plinko”. Others greeted children and their parents as they walked through the doors, helped serve hot chocolate, and acted as “runners” for the volunteers, seeing if they needed more water or a bathroom break.
At promptly six o’clock in the evening, families started arriving, first proceeding to the booth where they bought tickets for a dollar each. Each game cost either one or two tickets to play, and kids could win prizes such as stuffed animals, lanyards, blow-up crayons, and candy if they just participated. Families could also get food with their tickets that was catered by Texas Roadhouse and Papa John’s. For dessert, kids were spoiled with their very own shave-ice machine that was brought in just for the carnival and a hot chocolate station that featured toppings such as marshmallows, peppermint, and whipped cream.
Anna Rokke (12), one of the volunteers from PRHS, stated that “I did EFFE [at LPES], so I already knew a lot of the kids… I just thought it would be a fun way to get community service.” Rokke ran the Ice Fishing game, where kids would go “fishing” for magnetic fish. Based on how many fish they caught, they got certain prizes. “It was a little chaotic, but if was fun” admitted Rokke. Although she has to accumulate hours for NHS, Rokke enjoys doing volunteer work on her own because “It’s rewarding to see the kids really having fun at the carnival.”
Once the announcement was made that the event was ending at eight o’clock, children spent their last tickets on their favorite games while the volunteers started to tear down their individual stations, seal up the prize boxes, and carry the tickets they collected to the cafeteria. After that, a few volunteers took the leftover rolls from Texas Roadhouse and headed home.

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The student news site of Palmer Ridge High School
Community Service Ain’t No Game