CONWAY — Teams of Kennett High School students wearing Day-Glo green vests and gloves Tuesday picked up trash all over town as part of their homecoming week celebration.
Homecoming started Sunday, with girls playing powder puff football and the boys playing field hockey and runs through Friday.
On Tuesday, 29 groups of about a dozen students each were seen doing cleanup on local roads, including Route 302, White Mountain Highway, East Side Road, Kearsarge Road, Meeting House Road, North-South Road and Washington Street, as well as Davis Park, First Bridge and Hussey Field.
In total, about 430 students participated. Students were also encouraged to wear bright colors Tuesday as it was "neon day."
Science teacher Chris Darling was spotted with his students who were doing trash pickup along Route 13, Odell Hill Road west to the Conway Public Library, a distance of about 2 miles.
"As part of our homecoming week, we are working with the school as a group to empower the students to give back to the community by doing trash pickup," said Darling, noting it was a first in his experience at the school.
"We have never done something like this before."
He said other students were doing different community service tasks, such as writing thank you notes to organizations that helped the school.
Parental permission slips were required for participation.
A student in Darling's class, senior Samantha Habert Jaques, said; "It's definitely a great way to help our community, and I'm glad we are doing it."
Student Emily Walker echoed that thought. "It's a great way to give back to the community for that they did for us," said Walker.
Eleventh-grader Matt Kelsch was having a "cool fun day out of school" while "helping the environment."
Fellow Kennett junior Conner Jay said it was "super fun" to get out of the classroom and help the environment.
Darling said a group of teachers and administrators came up with the idea.
He said a lot of the supplies were donated by businesses or the school. Every student received a reflective vest, some gloves and trash bags.
KHS Principal Kevin Carpenter told the Sun: “We have a theme this year that is Pay it Forward, and as such we wanted to give back to the community that has been so supportive over the last two years as we have dealt with this pandemic. We felt that homecoming week would be a great time to pull off this event, as many community members will be returning to the valley. The day was a huge success and students were able to enjoy a BBQ upon return.”
Spirit Week concludes Friday with a pep rally in the afternoon and a varsity football game in the evening.