Waterville Junior High students volunteer for yard work at Woodlands Senior Living

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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - About fifty Waterville Junior High School students rolled up their sleeves and got dirty Wednesday - spreading mulch, weeding and planting flowers at Woodlands Senior Living.

They spent hours Wednesday morning hard at work on their community service project.

Seventh and eighth graders, many enrolled in the Jobs for Maine's Graduates program,' got the chance to interact with seniors at the home.

While some helped outside tending to yard work with shovels, wheelbarrows, and rakes, others chatted with residents inside, playing board games and listening to stories.

The Woodlands Senior Living staff was pleased to see the two generations having fun and enjoying each other's company.

"To learn how they were when they were younger and stuff is just totally different, and it was nice to get to know them and see that they're very good people," said eighth grader Makenzie Juliano.

"We work a lot with the local schools, and we are always looking to do more of that. So with the Junior High being right across the street, it's perfect for us. This is our second year in a row doing this project. So last year we had about 30 students come across the street. This year we've almost doubled that," said Kristin Gilley, Director of Development at Woodlands.

"They love it. They love to get dirty and help out and that's why doing these projects sometimes gets the kids back on track with what's this all about, you know, what's really important," said Jonathan Hart, JMG Specialist.

After hours of some good ol' fashioned manual labor, kids were treated to a cookout provided by the Woodlands staff.

Students say they're excited to come back next year.