For students at Fishers High School, April 28 won’t be just another regularly scheduled day of classes. Instead, they will be engaged in service-based learning by doing projects throughout Fishers and nearby communities as a part of the school-wide Day of Service.
Students have been involved in the day since its inception. When tasked with thinking about the school’s motto, “Have Pride, Show Character, Build Tradition,” at FHS’ annual Student Leadership Retreat, the student leaders felt that a massive, philanthropic undertaking was a great tradition to build for both the school and the community.
Organizing the Day of Service has been no small feat– since May 2022, a Day of Service leadership team, composed of students, staff members, and a few key external partners have met regularly to turn the initial vision for the event into a reality.
“Through the committee’s hard work and some wonderful external partnerships, we are excited to have teams of students and teachers engaged in over 100 different projects for this day.” says Kyle Goodwin, Assistant Principal at Fishers High School and lead administrator on the project. “We are so grateful for the City of Fishers for their support every step of the way. “
Some of the 100+ projects include repainting fire hydrants around the city, enhancing murals, cleaning up parks, pulling invasive plants, installing a rain garden, baking goods for police officers and fire fighters, volunteering at the Hamilton County Humane Society, singing at elder care facilities, writing letters to residents, and many more.
Goodwin describes the structure for the day as beginning at FHS, with project teams meeting together and finalizing their plan for the day. From there, teams will engage in projects inside and outside the walls of FHS, with projects reaching across Fishers, Hamilton County, and to all corners of the greater Indianapolis area. Projects will last roughly four hours, and afterwards, students will return to FHS to engage in some collaborative reflection on the day.
Lori Kixmiller and Jennifer Pope, teachers at FHS and members of the Day of Service Committee, emphasized Goodwin’s dedication to the project, describing how he deserves special recognition for working hundreds of hours to make this day possible for kids and being an instrumental leader in this new FHS tradition.
I had the pleasure of interviewing several students and teachers on the Day of Service Committee to find out more about their involvement in the Day of Service and the importance of volunteering in the community.
What inspired you to be a Day of Service Committee member?
- I have always felt that teaching and learning should extend outside the classroom walls and that we are helping students become thoughtful citizens in their communities, so I was excited to help facilitate this project. I also love that the original vision was the students’; they wanted to help in their communities. – Lori Kixmiller, FHS English teacher and Day of Service Committee member
- Fishers High School has never done this before, and the idea of EVERY single student getting the chance to serve on one designated day appealed to me. Knowing it was the first Day of Service and that the plan is to keep doing it every year, I wanted to help allow my classmates to do something they could be proud of while doing our part to help the city of Fishers remain a great place to live. – Timmy Lawrence, FHS sophomore Class President and Day of Service Committee member
Is there a certain part of the Day of Service that you’re most proud of being involved in?
- I have worked closely with the student leaders to promote the day. They developed an Instagram page and have made countless school news commercials and informational videos. It has been a joy to watch their vision come to life. – Lori Kixmiller, FHS English teacher and Day of Service Committee member
- I shot and edited the videos explaining the logistics to our school, but mostly I am proud to be involved in any of this event. – Casey Alexander, FHS junior Class President and Day of Service Committee member
Why do you think it is important to volunteer in your community?
- Volunteer work is the easiest way to improve your community and yourself. I am a firm believer that if you can help, you should help, and this is a great outlet to make a difference. If you can help your community, oftentimes you will find that the community can help you. – Casey Alexander, FHS junior Class President and Day of Service Committee member
What do you hope students will take away from this experience?
- I hope they enjoy the day working to make their communities better. I hope they laugh a lot, work hard, sweat some, and take pride in the jobs they do. I hope it ignites in them a passion for serving others after they graduate high school. – Lori Kixmiller, FHS English teacher and Day of Service Committee member
- In high school, many students often won’t care about serving their community or volunteering. With the Day of Service, we are giving many students a chance to do something that they otherwise wouldn’t have done or cared about. The goal is to open students’ eyes to helping their community more often and to inspire them to volunteer in the future. – Timmy Lawrence, FHS sophomore Class President and Day of Service Committee member
If you’re out and about around Fishers on Friday, April 28, keep your eyes peeled for student volunteers making their mark on the community. Be sure to follow the FHS Day of Service on Instagram @fhsdayofservice for more information.
Kara Hall is the Marketing and PR Manager for the City of Fishers and has been with the department since 2017. Her favorite thing to do in Fishers is checking out the local restaurants and boutiques around town and taking walks with her daughter, dog, and husband at parks #AroundFishers. Her other hobbies include listening to podcasts, watching true crime documentaries, going to concerts, reading, and cheering on the Colts on Sundays. She loves that Fishers is always changing and is constantly looking for ways to create vibrancy within the community.