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Emily Lamb, a sophomore studying public health, shovels debris at the Dairy Barn Art Center on April 9th, 2017 as part of Athens Beautification Day. Lamb was one of 938 students who registered to volunteer.

Fall Athens Beautification Day to focus on re-beautifying Athens County elementary schools

For the past 15 years, Athens Beautification Day has served as a way for students and residents of Athens alike to serve the county in which they live through volunteering.

“It’s just been a day to get students involved with our local community,” Rachael Ridout, a senior studying sociology and German, and the president of the Community Service Leadership Council (CSLC), said. “It’s just a fun day of service projects.”

Athens Beautification Day started out as being a single day full of volunteering opportunities in Athens. With its continued growth of people wanting to volunteer, the day turned into Athens Beautification Week, which takes place in the spring. This will be the CSLC’s first fall Athens Beautification Day.

“Athens City Council approached us and thought that every day should be ABD, so they asked if we would be interested in making a fall event this year, so we did,” Ridout said.

The first fall Athens Beautification Day will focus on Athens County elementary schools. Volunteers will be sent to East and West Elementary, Morrison-Gordon Elementary, and Amesville Elementary. While there, volunteers may be asked to weed, garden or mulch the area. Fall Athens Beautification Day will take place on Sunday.

Unlike spring Athens Beautification Day, CSLC is only allowing a little more than a hundred people to register to volunteer.

“Since it is a pilot year, we’re trying to keep it a little smaller,” Ridout said. “We’ve had a bunch of members from Eta Sigma Gamma and Delta Tau Delta, so we’re worried we’ll have to turn people away, which we don’t want to do.”

Nevertheless, Ridout is excited for her first and last fall Athens Beautification Day.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what students gain from this experience,” Ridout said. “Students will get the chance to go outside the Athens city bubble, and kind of get to explore what’s around us.”

Kristine Ensign, professional athletic training program director, will be volunteering this Sunday with two organizations she advises.

“I believe it is important to encourage volunteerism in our students and to give back to the community that supports Athens,” Ensign said.

Ellie Pontones, an undecided sophomore, will also be volunteering on fall Athens Beautification day for the simple reason that she enjoys giving back.

“I find the hard work and seeing the progress firsthand satisfying, especially knowing it is going to benefit someone else in the long run,” Pontones said. “AB Day is important because it is a unique way to connect students with Athens County. It allows students to give back to a place they call home for most of the year and make a difference in the community.”

@BayleeDeMuth

bd575016@ohio.edu

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