October 11, 2010
Ojai Valley School students recently participated in a community service project to benefit the new Ojai Skate Park, which opens this weekend.
Twenty-one students from the Lower Campus helped clean up construction debris to help reduce construction costs for the new park, which was financed by the city and the volunteer organization Skate Ojai. They shoveled dirt, swept the new in-ground bowl of debris, and carried away scrap wood and metal. After building up a good sweat, the middle school students were treated to a yogurt at Bliss Frozen Yogurt just across the street.
OVS science teacher Matt Inman, who accompanied the group, said the students wanted to do something to benefit the local community and decided to focus their efforts on the skate park.
“Community service is an important part of the curriculum at Ojai Valley School,” he said. “Giving of yourself in the form of time, energy, money, or labor feels good. By working at the Ojai Skate Park, students know that they have contributed to a purpose larger
than themselves, one that will be enjoyed by their peers for years to come."
Earlier this year, the City of Ojai agreed to move forward with plans to replace the aging temporary wooden skate park with a new permanent facility that features a large 9-foot deep bowl with stairs, rails, "volcanoes," and much more.
OVS parent Chet Hilgers, president of Skate Ojai, was a driving force behind the campaign that raised more than $260,000 for the project. He made arrangements for the middle school students to work at the skate park last week to help prepare for its debut on Saturday during Ojai Day.
"We talked with the students about the importance of community service being something you do rather than something you donate money to support," said teacher Myr Slosberg, who also helped with the clean-up efforts.
"Then students brainstormed ideas that specifically involved doing something locally," she said. "They really liked the idea of the skate park because it was so immediate and needed."
Students involved in the project included Matt Gustafson, Sam Furmanski, Nicole Kang, Declan Kelly, Ever Avary, Annie Ahn, Harrison Cooper, Oliver Rothenberg, Pinky Cheng, Jerry Rong, Hyoung Min Lee, Tristen Lindsey, Claire Wickenhaeuser, Lilly Hilgers, Caleb McNeil, Peter Marcus, Keller Mochel, Victor Yen, Patrick Prestridge, Isaiah Brown, and Brennon Manning.