Junior and senior high school students from Greenfield McClain, Lynchburg-Clay and Whiteoak planted blue spruces and heather around the new shelter house at Harmony Lake in Hillsboro as part of the Hillsboro Elks’ “Impact-A-Life” program.
Dan Pearce, grant coordinator for Hillsboro Elks Lodge 361, and his wife, Brandy, chair of the Impact-A-Life program, were on hand along with representatives of Highland County Community Action, Hills & Dales and Highco to supervise the work and assist the students.
Students laughed and teased each other as they worked Friday, obviously enjoying their work under clear April skies at the scenic lake area, located on the north side of Liberty Park.
This year, the Elks National Foundation awarded $600,000 in grants across the country for 74 different projects. The Impact-A-Life grant provides hands-on job training to teens and young adults in need, and this year received $7,500 from the national foundation, said Pearce.
Pearce said the program helps both disadvantaged and developmentally disabled students become job-ready as they prepare to transition into the workplace. He said the focus of education throughout the year will be landscape training and restaurant skills.
Pearce said the theme of the program is, “Removing roadblocks to employment.”
Additional upcoming activities will include a visit to the Highland County YMCA on April 28 to plant flowers, lay top soil and seed grass along sidewalks and spread sand in play areas behind the Y.
On May 5, students will visit the Highland County Senior Citizen Center to plant flowers in pots for seniors and kids to take home, plant flowers in a front planter, and spread top soil and mulch behind the center.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.