Kids help out in Virginia City |

Kids help out in Virginia City

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Cambria Breithaupt, 16, paints the Community Chest sign in Virginia City as part of the Global Youth Service Day on Friday. Virginia City middle and high school students along with Global Voice worked on community gardens, fixed signs, picked up trash, and assembled 48-hour emergency survival kits.

Virginia City’s youth contributed a little elbow grease Friday to spruce things up around town as part of Global Youth Service Day.

“I thought it would be fun and it would be outside instead of a stuffy classroom,” said Virginia City High School senior Molly McGregor, who helped plant vegetables behind the Community Chest building.

For the 150 or so students from Hugh Gallagher Elementary School, Hillside Elementary School and Virginia City middle and high schools who participated, it wasn’t a free pass out of class to goof off.

Virginia City High School teacher Chris Prater said the kids worked hard on the garden all day.

“They had to weed them first, get wheelbarrows full of dirt,” she said. “They had to do a lot of work.”

All of the high school students were involved in some aspect of Global Youth Service Day, Prater said.

“This is to feed all the worms,” said R.J. Koons, a high school student. “No, it’s for the food bank.”

Students planted radishes, cucumbers, lettuce, squash and other vegetables, which should be sprouting in a month or so, said Jackie Weinland, a student at Bishop Manogue in South Reno who belongs to Global Voice, the organization sponsoring the effort.

Other Virginia City students cleaned up around the schools, the district offices and other parts of town. They helped clean a senior citizen’s home and yard, and made 48-hour emergency survival kits. In the northern area of the county, students and community volunteers picked up trash along the Truckee River and worked to spruce up Hillside Elementary School.

“We cleaned up the river from bridge to bridge (in Lockwood),” said Community Chest Executive Director Sean Griffin. “We cleaned up and planted a tree in Peri Park. All the school kids got to help.”

Jessica Bailey, Kara Allen, Cambria Breithaupt and Sophie Glogovac repainted the Community Chest sign.

Cambria, one of the Global Voice teens who went to Mexico in January to help renovate a school, said painting a mural there got her interested in painting here.

“I had a lot of fun there, so I wanted to do this,” she said, adding that the sign was there for 15 years and needed a touch-up. “I think this will be a lot brighter than it used to be.”

Sophie, who also went on the trip to Mexico, said she wanted people coming to the Comstock Lode area for the first time from the south to see a good sign.

Hugh Gallagher Elementary School Principal Michele VanVoorst said the Leadership Club at her school, made up of fourth and fifth graders, did loads of work.

“They cleaned up around the school, planted, stained the planter, moved lots of dirt, filled an archaeological dig,” she said. “They even made a sandbox for the kindergarten class.”

Eden Gomez and Jennifer Olmey did the sandbox. “It’s really rewarding,” Jennifer said.

Clint Hess, a fifth-grader, liked the work but was also glad for a break from schoolwork.

“I like this because you get to help people and clean up around town,” he said. “You get to plant a garden and move a lot of stuff, and you get out of class.”

He said without Global Youth Service Day he’d be working on math, science, social studies, and reading.

Tyler was a little more charitable.

“I like just helping out the community and making it a better place for the kids,” he said.

• Contact Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.