KCS Starts School Year with Service Focus: D-B YES Club

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We Are One Tribe…

The start of every school year brings with it a combination of excitement, anticipation, and though we try to eliminate it, a dose of apprehension as to what the new year will bring.  Each child likely has some combination of all of these emotions as they set foot in a new classroom and/or school.  Naturally, this may result in a mindset that focuses more on meeting personal needs, rather than considering the needs of others.  But what might happen when a group of teachers observes an issue, develops an innovative idea to address it, and presents the opportunity to students at Dobyns-Bennett High School?  The result is an exciting display of selflessness and passion to serve others.

Started as a brainstorm of KCS guidance counselor Alice Browder (Roosevelt Elementary) and family liaison Jaclyn Clendenen (Jackson Elementary), the D-B YES Club (Youth Engagement Strategies) was formed to connect interested high school students with KCS elementary students that are in need of a positive role model.  Taking place during the new D-B Tribe Time (an hour-long lunch period at D-B that allows for a variety of learning and service opportunities), interested juniors and seniors in good academic standing can gain volunteer hours and valuable experience by mentoring younger children at their elementary schools.  For the elementary students, it is a terrific opportunity to gain guidance and support from a new friend who can relate to them on a more personal level.

When presented with an opportunity to serve and support younger children, D-B students turned out in droves to share of themselves.  Almost 70 students returned an interest survey in the first days of signup, requesting an application to apply to be a mentor.  After receiving training from the KCS staff, the high schoolers will go into KCS elementary schools and share their insights and experience with young children who might not otherwise have an older sibling or friend to learn from.  It is an example of how, when presented with a need and an opportunity, our students rise to give of themselves to others.  It will be exciting to see the friendships that develop and the confidence that will grow (in both young and old) as bonds are formed during this innovative process.

To view a video about the D-B YES program, please click here.

We Are One Tribe… We Are KCS!

Dobyns-Bennett Student-Athletes Give Back

DB Basketball Serves3    DB Basketball Serves1   DB Basketball Serves4

(Photos courtesy Nick Shepherd, Kingsport Times-News)

We Serve…

Mathematics.  Science.  Language Arts.  Social Studies.  Music.  The Arts.  When it comes to what is taught in Kingsport City Schools, these are likely the subjects that come to mind.  While they form the core foundation of who we are and what we do, there are other words that also describe the values we work to instill in our students and throughout our educational community.

Selflessness.  Commitment.  Integrity.  Thankfulness.  Dedication.  Service.

These were the types of life skills demonstrated by the Dobyns-Bennett Girls and Boys basketball teams on Saturday, August 9, 2014 as almost 30 D-B student-athletes turned out to help serve lunch to members of our local National Guard.  Led by D-B coaches Bill Francis and Charlie Morgan and supported by the Kingsport Texas Roadhouse, these young men and women took time out to, in some small way, show their appreciation for the sacrifice provided by the members of the National Guard.  And though the service provided by these students may pale in relation to those that have risked their lives to protect our freedoms, this act of giving back can help to solidify a foundational understanding of the importance of personal sacrifice.

To be successful on the court, these athletes must show a high level of commitment and dedication in the classroom, during practice, and on game night.  But to ultimately be successful in life, they need to learn the importance of developing and using those same skills in the broader picture… How sacrifice, service, and appreciation will increase the impact of both their lives and the lives of those around them.  These are the lessons our faculty and staff work to instill on a daily basis.  By volunteering to serve others, these young men and women demonstrate they are learning this critical skill that, beyond anything that can be taught in a book, will make them ultimately successful in life.

We Serve… We Are KCS!

Click here to view Nick Shepherd’s full review in the August 10, 2014 Kingsport Times-News.



Dobyns-Bennett Students “Pay it Forward”

We have a heart for service…

It is said that the true character of a person is demonstrated when no one is watching.  If that is the case, than a group of young ladies at Dobyns-Bennett have set a bar that we all should strive and hope to reach.

Following an economics class on poverty during their Junior year, these ladies felt called to served economically disadvantaged students at D-B that might be missed by local service agencies.  Knowing that navigating through high school can be difficult enough, they wanted to do what they could to help their fellow students who’s families might be struggling financially.  Thus, “Pay it Forward” was born.  Over the next year, they worked to support students whose high school experience might be limited due to financial issues.

It was certainly a noble cause that made a tangible difference in the lives of many D-B students.  But here is the amazing, and likely most impressive part of the story… the entire project was done anonymously.  Mailboxes were placed within D-B and students were encouraged to anonymously suggest names of classmates so that no one would feel awkward requesting help.  The names of students or families in need were referred to appropriate individuals and agencies for help.  Assistance was provided quietly with students’ feelings in mind.  High school can be hard enough, as it is.

When word about Pay it Forward did come to light, community members quickly rose to support the cause.  Brothers Scot and John Franklin, owners of the Fort Henry Drive Subway, held two fundraising events over the course of the 2013-14 school year.  Over $670 was raised to support the efforts of Pay it Forward, with all funds donated to the Clothes Closet for needed shoes and clothing.  Dozens of shoes, tops, and pants were purchased for students in need.

And who were the young ladies that imagined, created, and facilitated the “Pay it Forward” project?  Nope… that’s anonymous, as well.  You see, it was important to these young ladies that their work remain behind the scenes, as they wanted neither credit or personal recognition for their work.  They simply desired to serve their classmates in whatever way they could… To make a positive difference in another’s life so that they could have the same type of high school experience that these young ladies were blessed to have.

We may very well never know the identities of these D-B students that did so much for their classmates, but the results of their work can be seen in the positive impact on the lives of many others.  For these young ladies, that is reward enough.

We have a heart for service… We are KCS!