Key Club students volunteer for MLK Day

PLYMOUTH — A usually very "played in" kid's room, sparkling with freshly cleaned floors and walls. Tidied-up animal cages. Calm dogs, worn out from exercise. A group of fifth graders learning about decimals in a new way.
These were some of the small, yet meaningful contributions that Plymouth Key Club students made to the community Monday as they did service tasks in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. About 60 students worked at the Marshall County Humane Society, the Boys and Girls Club, and Riverside Intermediate School.
Freshman Kylee Rippy used her time teaching Riverside fifth graders a "decimal rap" that she and a friend had made up when they were students at Riverside.
"This is what you need to know about decimals — deci, deci, decimals," sang Rippy as the students watched in wonder.
Their teacher, Terri Dennie, also had Rippy help her out by grading papers, making copies, and going to lunch with the students. Rippy said that she's thought about teaching for a career, but today she is "just helping out."
Another group of Key Club students spent their day overhauling the Boys and Girls Club. Executive directer Billie Treber said that the students had "detailed" the gym and playroom, letting no mess get away from their brooms, mops, and dusters. By the end of the afternoon, toys and games were organized and straightened, a typically grimy gym door was gleaming, and all the floors in the building were spotless.
Yet another group worked at the Marshall County Humane Society, walking dogs, replacing kitty litter, and cutting out fliers. Key Club faculty advisor and Plymouth High School English teacher Stephanie Wezeman said that getting involved in the community on MLK Day is new for the club, but that they hope to continue doing so.
"Last year, newly elected officials and I were brainstorming ideas and this is what we came up with," said Wezeman. "It's a way to do a big volunteer project and (also) honor Dr. Martin Luther King."
Wezeman hopes to get feedback from the organizations on what did and didn't go well with the event in order to improve for next year. She added that the club is looking for service opportunities from the city of Plymouth and from citizens.
"Anything that needs to be done — we are willing to explore the possibilities," said Wezeman.
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To see a video of Key Club students at work, go to