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franklin county times

BHS athletes clean up campus, make plans to serve community

Belgreen High School athletes now have an opportunity to give back to the community by being members of the Bulldogs Serve team.

Their first community service project took place Aug. 5 on the campus of the school. They met in the gym at 9 a.m. and split into groups to carry out various tasks, including trimming shrubs, rinsing sidewalks, weed-eating and cleaning up inside the old gym.

Participants received T-shirts, and lunch was provided.

Susie Tverberg, the school’s athletic director and softball and volleyball coach, said Bulldogs Serve provides an opportunity for Belgreen athletes in seventh through 12th grades to take pride in themselves, their school and the community.

“So many in the world today are only concerned with what they can receive,” said Tverberg, “and I feel it’s important for us to help the students understand that it’s more rewarding to give back to others than it is to simply receive something that helps them personally.”

Tverberg said the school and students often have to ask for donations to help with the financial support of school athletic programs. She said it’s important to show the community and the students that it’s about helping each other – not just themselves.

“We always stress to our athletes that you can’t be a champion on the court if you’re not a champion in other aspects of your life,” said Jennifer Cooper, assistant varsity boys basketball coach. “Giving back to the community as part of the Bulldogs Serve team is an excellent opportunity for them to take that wisdom to heart.”

Cooper said she thinks every coach would agree that it’s not about wins and losses but rather about shaping young people morally to become good leaders who take an active role in improving the area where they live and the world in general.

“We did this last year just with the basketball team,” said Cooper, “and now we’ve just expanded it to include all athletes at the school who wish to participate. Other projects will include students from the basketball team doing a reading program with younger kids. We’re going to branch out into the community and see where we can be of service.”

“We’re still a fairly new squad,” said Cheer Coach Sherrie Kirby, “and the girls are doing a fantastic job. I’m proud of them volunteering to serve in this way.”

Megean Berryman, the school’s new principal, said she thinks it’s a great way for the students to learn what it feels like to be a bigger part of a community and to have pride in where they live and go to school.

“This is Coach Tverberg’s idea,” said Berryman, “and I am excited to see all the ways the members of the Bulldogs Serve team will be contributing to help our school and the community at large.”

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