NEWBURYPORT — To wrap up a full year of community service, students on the 7th grade crimson team erected a new sign in front of the Rupert A. Nock Middle and Edward G. Molin Elementary Schools Monday afternoon. The sign, which is painted with the school colors of crimson and gold, can be clearly read by anyone passing by – a far cry from the old sign with its fading paint.
John Webber, social studies teacher, and John Reynolds, science teacher, have spent the last year teaching students about community service and sustainability. Rebuilding the school sign was the final project of the year.
“It’s part of the whole community stewardship piece the kids have been doing all year,” Webber said. “They did volunteer days, cleaned up cemeteries. They’ve done trash cleanup here, on the rail trail and fields.”
Reynolds has completed the science piece, he said, adding that students learned about sustainable living from Molly Ettenborough, the city’s recycling manager. Webber and Reynolds said, in general, it’s been about giving back to the community and school and doing your part.
Charlotte Pineault, a seventh-grader, said the sign really needed to be repainted because the paint was chipping off and it was hard to read from the street. The students painted the school name in a solid gold paint with a maroon backdrop.
“This was a really big project for us,” Pineault said. “We had to chip off all the old paint and give it two coats. We painted all the letters.”
Heather Mendez, another seventh-grader, said all of the community service projects this year have taught her that everybody is capable of giving back to the community to make it a better place to live.
Mendez and Pineault have enjoyed the cleanup projects, including cleaning up gravestones in several cemeteries and placing flags on veterans’ graves for Memorial Day.
“We can live in a clean area so we don’t have to step on trash,” Pineault said. “It can make a really big impact and it can help more grass grow and more flowers and bring out the true beauty of the school.”
Staff writer Amanda Getchell covers Newburyport and Seabrook. Follow her on Twitter @ajgetch.