On a regular Saturday morning, Kennedy Brandon said, she would have been “at home on the couch eating cereal and playing with my dog.”
On this particular Saturday, though, Kennedy, who is a seventh-grader at Hanes Magnet School, was happy to join her older sister, Taylor, who is a junior at Carter High School, and their mother, Apryl, on the campus that Carter shares with John F. Kennedy High School and the Career Center and spend the morning cleaning the grounds.
“You have to take pride,” Apryl Brandon said.
Plus, it was a fun thing to do as a family.
Volunteers from Carter and Kennedy were there as part of the annual Big Sweep to keep local waterways clean.
By the time the morning was done, Nicholas Hoffman, a senior at Carter who was working with teacher assistant Francis Manns Jr., had created a big pile of sticks that the wind had blown off trees.
“We have done this seven years,” Manns said. “Student participation is one of the most important things.”
They started taking responsibility for keeping the grounds looking good when Carter was still on South Main Street, Manns said, and have continued it since a new building was built on the Kennedy campus.
Joining the Carter volunteers was a group from Kennedy led by Nancy Harris, the school’s CTE (Career Technical Education) magnet coordinator.
“We’re developing a real culture of volunteerism at Kennedy,” Harris said. “My students were the ones who said they wanted to participate.”
The local Big Sweep is sponsored by Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful. Altogether, about 30 groups of volunteers worked at various locations on Saturday. The event was originally scheduled for the previous weekend but was postponed in light of predicted heavy rains and possible flooding.