Story and Photo by Ed Kane
Students at Woodbrook Middle School went from a previous introductory meeting to boots-on-the-ground with their first club activity. After an initial session during which Woodbrook guidance counselor and Lakewood First Lions member Sharon West gave the kids a quick rundown on what types of projects Lions and Leos do for their communities, the 26 club members voted to start by sprucing up their community. With typical young enthusiasm they spread out across the school grounds after school on Wednesday to begin cleaning up trash and planting bulbs for Spring color. While some members were unable to attend the first Leo project because of other after-school activities, the majority attended with gusto.
Tyanna Babbs (L-yellow vest), Bryana Dixon (C) and Shivante McCummings sweep across the Woodbrook Middle School’s grounds cleaning up as part of their participation in the school’s Leo program.
Jeff and Jan Rich of the Lakewood First Lions Club (R) pitch in with Woodbrook students planting bulbs for spring color around the school.
Counselor West is new to Woodbrook this year, but is a 5-year veteran of the Leo program at Lochburn Middle School. West said she “looks forward to a great year with a great bunch of kids who are excited about participating.” Lions’ Leo coordinators from the Lakewood First Lions Club, husband & wife team Jeff & Jan Rich, have been working with Leos Clubs since 2004 and are rewarded by watching the kids as they start the program “as shy 6th graders and mature to 8th grade and really get into it, especially when visiting elderly in nursing homes.” At the Lochburn program they saw about 40-50 student pass through the programs each year, many who stayed with Leos until they went on to high school.
The Woodbrook program is still accepting students for their program, and the Rich’s are working at getting the Lochburn program up and running again this year.