Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hundreds of Stratford Students Show Up for the 1st Annual Big Day

Early in the morning on April 16, more than 400 Stratford High School students gathered in the Dairy Ashford campus parking lot for the school’s first Big Day. Together, the Spartans painted 40,000 square feet Stratford green, prepared 1,400 kid’s meals, fixed up seven homes, and remodeled two businesses in just under four hours.

Planning for The Big Day event began in April of 2013 when Stratford Student Council President Katherine Kennedy established the Leadership Council, a group composed of 53 students — one student representative for every organization at Stratford.

In conjunction with the newly founded Dairy Ashford Revitalization Team (DART) — composed of local business professionals, Stratford parents and faculty — the students begin to plan a school-wide service day to clean up their surrounding community.

While the Leadership Council worked to get student volunteers, the DART committee arranged volunteer opportunities with local businesses and raised funds for supplies.

In order to decide what projects students were going to complete, DART reached out to local businesses and residents to see if they had any “wishes” that students could help grant.

On the Big Day, 39 students Leadership Council members led 79 groups with anywhere from three to 10 students to complete projects.

Of the 79 groups, 68 painted the backside of the strip center that faces the Stratford baseball fields and practice fields informally known as “the wall,” Spartan green.

Stratford modeled their universal day of service after Texas A&M University’s annual Big Event which involves more than 20,000 students each year. While the Big Event has been transferred to other colleges, Stratford is among the few high schools to hold anything like it.

The campus plans to put on the Big Day each year by fulfilling different local wishes and tasks to improve the Dairy Ashford/Stratford community. For more information on the Big Day check out the April issue of The Oracle by clicking here.

Communications Dept. intern Kali Venable of Stratford High wrote this story.


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