Serving the Community One Student at a Time

The past two years in our community have been a trial for all of us. From online learning to slowly integrating ourselves back into the world, this seems like a strange dream that none of us imagined would happen. However, thanks to several organizations within our own high school, students are advocating to improve the community and attempting to bring some good back into the valley.


In the past, middle school students have had an isolated connection with high school students and high school in general. They rarely see the high schoolers and often fear what’s to come, but now, thanks to the National Honor Society Chapter of Glenwood Springs High School, not only are they able to see high school students more often, they receive help with their own academics.


The NHS Chapter within our school has had a rough year with the pandemic, limiting the amount of activity for their students to reach out in the community. Now that restrictions have been slightly reduced, students within the organization are taking advantage of the opportunity. “I believe this tutoring program over at the Glenwood Springs Middle School is extremely beneficial to the community and even more beneficial to the Roaring Fork School District,” said Sawyer McKenney, a student in NHS who created this initiative to send fellow NHS members to the middle school in order to help students there with their academics. “This not only benefits the students but also saves teachers the hassle of explaining things twice, wasting valuable class time.” 


McKenney’s inspiration for this project rose from issues that he experienced from the pandemic. “While thinking of ways to benefit our community I began to think of the educational issues that arose with the initial outbreak of COVID-19. Due to these complications I have begun to wonder if younger students have experienced similar complications.” After visiting with the administration at the middle school, he discovered “it was much more severe then [he] had expected.” Now, thanks to McKenney’s action, these students have the resources to succeed in their academics.


This tutoring protocol takes place every week on early release Wednesdays, where the NHS members go to the middle school to tutor their students. Other clubs in the school have also begun separate measures to improve the quality of our community. The Key Club Chapter within our high school has been very diligent to have its members play a part in supporting the school and our town’s well being.


Key Club is a sub-organization of Kiwanis, who has a nationwide influence on volunteering, aiding the homeless, and offering financial assistance to those in need. Fortunately for our own community, Key Club allows a more localized approach to helping the people in need within our small town. “We have definitely been working to get the club up and running again. We have done many different outdoor projects.” Christine Smalley, who picked up the lead position of our school’s Key Club, has been running the club for eight years and continues to run this organization. “Students did a landscaping project for Youth-Zone. They have also each put in between three and ten hours at the Community Thrift Store, which is a great non-profit that donates money to our schools while helping keep our goods out of the landfills.” 


Over this past year, Key Club members have picked up garbage around the school, volunteered at the Defiance Thrift Store, rang the bell in front of City Market for Red Cross, and offered their services at several other organizations and activities. Members of the club believe that their organization has had an extremely positive impact on the community, and continue to volunteer every week. Currently the organization has 30 students involved in the club, and as they continue to improve our school and our community, they certainly deserve recognition for the service they provide. 

Although we have all struggled to readjust over the course of the past year, these organizations and clubs within our school have brought life back into our valley during these bleak times. NHS is currently not offering positions of membership to students in the high school, but Key Club’s doors are always open to students who want to make an impact on the community’s quality of life. To join, you can find Mrs. Smalley at her room 2705 or email her at [email protected].