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A morning of giving back

More than 600 students clocked over 2,400 hours of voluntary work in a single morning recently.

Tuesday, June 3 saw Woodbury High School students head out and about around the community to pitch in and lend a hand wherever was needed as part of their Senior Service Day.

Helping out at locations ranging from the Woodbury Christian Cupboard and the People Serving People shelter in Minneapolis to the Maplewood Nature Center and Afton State Park, students made a difference in hundreds of ways, large and small.

"The event was a success and I am proud of our students," said community outreach teacher Theresa Von Ruden, who coordinated the day.

"It is important for students to give back to the community and hopefully this event will make them proud and teach them to serve in the future."

Up at the Animal Humane Society on Hudson Road, Woodbury, seven seniors put their hand to painting office walls, and were rewarded with a tour round the building to see the animals for adoption up close.

At the Southeast Area YMCA on Radio Drive, a couple of dozen students got stuck in, helping clean the gym, work with children in the Kids' Stuff creative area and filing documents among other tasks.

"I'm tired -- I'm exhausted!" said student Rose Miller as she neared the end of her four-hour shift at the YMCA.

"I like it better than school," added Nancy Wambui, as she helped sort kids' paintings in the YMCA's Kids' Stuff zone.

"At school it's structured with one class, then another class, then another class, but here's there's variety of tasks and people. It's not like every 90 minutes you are going to rotate."

After the morning's work was done, all 600 students gathered for a picnic at Ojibway Park, with food and drink laid on by Subway and the Holiday gas station in Season's Market.

A band provided musical entertainment and students played Frisbee after eating.