Luverne High School seniors earn day off from school through service day
Each year Luverne High School’s upcoming graduates select a day as Senior Skip Day, celebrating their last days of classes by not attending or skipping school.
Instead of trying to keep the students from missing class, district officials have given students a way to earn a half-day off from school through Senior Service Day.
“It was done in a way knowing that seniors were going to have a skip day, so instead of fighting it, why not give them an opportunity to give back to the community that has supported and blessed them with a great education,” said Ryan Johnson, principal at Luverne High School.
“This day is usually a very fun day. We end it with a picnic in the (city) park and then they have the afternoon free.”
This year the 86 graduating seniors each signed up for one of 12 locations, offering their assistance for three hours in a variety of tasks.
Working in groups ranging in numbers from four to 12, the students completed tasks that primarily required cleaning, planting, painting or washing.
One place that received some sprucing up was the Palace Theatre in downtown Luverne.
“We love having the seniors here,” said Diane Ossenfort, a member of the Blue Mound Area Theatre. “We appreciate their help.”
Senior Service Day began in the 1990s as Luverne’s solution to the state’s requirement of adding community service within the high school program, according to Superintendent Gary Fisher, then high school principal.
“It has been a good thing,” he said. “We get a lot of things done around the community.”
Besides the Palace Theatre, students helped out at the Luverne Chamber of Commerce, Luverne Fire Department, Sanford Luverne Hospital, Rock County Opportunities, Blue Mounds State Park, the high school and elementary school, city of Luverne and Mary Jane Brown Home.
Fisher said anyone can request students to help with projects by contacting the high school office, 283-4491, for next year’s service day.