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High school students return to recess

The staff at Hillcrest Primary School is in need of volunteers for recess duty Monday thru Friday from 10:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. Due to social distancing guidelines the school had to increase the number of playground locations, and as a result needs more playground supervisors. 

Hillcrest Counselor Mrs. Kasey Kuep has been heading the search for volunteers. In previous years the school only needed two volunteers.

“A team of educators brainstormed ideas to get additional supervisor support for the playgrounds and lunchrooms,” Mrs. Kuep informed. “With so many new routines, walking routes, and physical distancing, our staff knew we needed to increase the support in some capacity.”  

The recess duty is currently being covered by paid professionals of the school district. The school district has also advertised the three hour recess block but has had very few applicants. 

“We will continue to do our best to cover the lunch break with paid staff,” explained Mrs. Kuep. “However adding high school students to the playground enhances the recess experience for our young students.”

High school volunteer, Senior Abby Tuma

SCHS Counselor Mrs. Amy Schwitzer is heading up the volunteer hunt on the high school side.

“I had a student who reached out to me, who was wondering if I knew of any volunteering in the school district,” Mrs. Schwitzer stated. “I reached out to Hillcrest for the student, and that’s when I was informed about them being in need of volunteers.”

Mrs. Schwitzer reached out to the high schoolers through the school’s announcements. She received interest from seven students and has a few more interested in potentially volunteering.

“I think students were looking for something to fill up some time in their day,” confided Mrs. Schwitzer. “They have virtual learning that absolutely comes first, but they were looking for something to fill the extra time after their school work.”

The turnout of students that have volunteered to help out Hillcrest has impressed Mrs. Schwitzer and is helping out Hillcrest in a tremendous way.

“I think that the volunteers that we have right now are absolutely phenomenal,” Mrs. Schwitzer exclaimed. “I think they will be good fits for the job and will do an excellent job.”

One of the volunteers is Sophomore Layla Miller. She is a virtual learner who only goes to school one day a week on Thursdays.

“I wanted to help at recess because it was something new to do,” Miller explained. “However, the main reason that I wanted to volunteer was because I love working with and being around kids. They always want to have fun and show me their interests.”

Miller saw the post in the announcements about volunteering and thought that it would be something she would like to do. 

“I know I will like volunteering on the playground because it is a good way to set a good example for the younger kids and for me to get to know them,” Miller stated.

As of right now, Hillcrest is temporarily closed, and the high school is moving towards a virtual model of schooling. However, the students will hopefully move back to a more hybrid model of schooling soon.

“I don’t know how long I will be able to stay,” Miller acknowledged. “What I do know is that I will stay as long as they love having me.”

Hillcrest is always looking for volunteers and people to come in. This is actually not the first time Hillcrest wanted to partner with the high school.

“Our team of educators have previously discussed partnering with the high school students for mentor support for our students,” Mrs. Kuep stated. “This is a great starting point in working towards a mentorship with the high school.”