DMS helps put the spooky into Wildlife Scary Park

Chelsea Peck
Zeynep Guven, Dunlap Middle School eighth-grader, organizes Halloween-themed cups at Wildlife Prairie State Park Thursday.

Dunlap Middle School sixth, seventh and eighth-graders got their hands dirty at Wildlife Prairie State Park last week.

The students helped the park set up for Wildlife Scary Park, which runs Oct. 22-24.

The middle school officials volunteered their students’ time to fulfill their community service initiative.

“One of the goals for DMS this year is that 100 percent of the middle school students at DMS will participate in a service-learning activity by the conclusion of the 2010-11 school year,” Principal Zac Chatterton said.

The sixth-grade students volunteered Tuesday, helping the volunteer park staff get decorations out of storage.

Wednesday the seventh-graders made repairs and touched up the decorations.

Thursday the eighth-grade students set up the decorations throughout the park, cleaned up and made a list of extra Halloween decorations.

Some students will volunteer at the scary park, as well.

Chatterton was contacted by a member from Wildlife Prairie Park about volunteers.

“I went out there in the summer and checked it out. This is one of their big projects that they need a lot of help with and I thought it would be perfect for us,” he said. “It gets them active and gets them moving. It also shows what all it takes to make a park of that size function and working.”

Nelson said she believes field trips like this are good for students because it gets them out of the classroom and doing something hands-on.

“It’s nice to do things that are fun because it makes them want to come to school,” she said.

DMS is also working with the Salvation Army and bell ringing in December.

Eighth-grade language arts teacher Mary Nelson said the different volunteer opportunities show students how important volunteering is and how some people in the area are forced to live.

“The Salvation Army really opens their eyes and shows them that we all have to help each other to survive,” Nelson said.

Chatterton added, “The Salvation Army seemed like a great fit because a lot of our kids have no experience with how some people have to live in our community.”

Click here for more photos of DMS students at Wildlife Prairie Park