At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, teachers at the New Lexington High School came up with a program on how the senior students could take a hands on approach to learning the history of the village, as well as become a part of their community by volunteering their time to make a difference.
Well, months later their endeavor of cleaning up the grave markers and grounds around the cemetery located behind the First United Methodist Church on South High School has been accomplished.
Teachers Penny Murray, Leslie Powell and Sean Bartholic developed the program called Project Y.O.U. (Youth Opportunities Unlimited) an After School Program.
“The goal for cemetery restoration was to clean the cemetery up, reset stones, clean stones, and document the stone’s names and dates, many that date back to the early 1800s. We believe that this project can help restore a sense of pride in our youth here in New Lexington while representing our school through community service,” said Bartholic, who has taking on projects like this before.
During the preservation project, students uncovered three Civil War veterans gravesites which will be marked for recognition by the Perry County Veterans Service Commission.
“It is the goal that those in the school and community will see this amazing project and want to pitch in either here at the cemetery, or find other much needed projects in our community. Not only did students learn about our history, and help preserve history but they can also change the way some adults view teenagers today changing that sometimes negative view to something positive,” stated Bartholic.
For their efforts the church hosted a pizza party.