Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Fred M. Lynn Middle School’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) requires students to complete a community service project in the third or fourth year of attendance. School staff serves as mentors, assisting the students with planning and implementing their projects.
When school social worker Vicky Castro heard about this opportunity, she contacted Yarixa Morales, an English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and language arts teacher to volunteer. Castro and Morales currently help 27 students with their IB MYP projects.
Castro reached out to the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department (OWL VFD) to inquire about how students could volunteer their time. Recently, students spent two Saturday mornings helping the volunteers clean the station in preparation for a department event. Students cleared leaves and other debris from the flower beds on the outside the station, cleaned the foyer of the social hall, polished the department’s awards case, and unpacked and placed about 100 new chairs in the hall. Students were also given a tour of the station and had lunch with the volunteers on-duty. The station personnel answered questions about what it’s like being a volunteer firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT) and serving the community.
Eighth grader Leonela Corpeno said, “I think it is important for us as members of the community to help the fire station. The fire department helps families when there is a fire and at other times. I learned that there are different types and colors of hats for the fire ighters and that these hats can tell their rank. I told my mother that I may join the fire department when I am older and she was happy.”
Lynn Middle and the OWL VFD have a special bond as Fred M. Lynn served as the department’s first Fire Chief from 1938 through 1939.
“It was a wonderful experience to see the students interact with volunteer members of the fire station and learn about the importance of the work they do. Students learned about career opportunities and giving back to the community. Several members shared their personal stories of why they became volunteers. This was a great example for the students,” Castro said.
For more information about the IB MYP visit the webpage.