For three days each year, the Church of Jesus of Christ Latter-Day Saints runs a youth conference, where students and adults from the church participate in service projects to lend a helping hand to the Rockford community.
"We start school in just two weeks," says Loree Leathers-Allen, Haskell Elementary School Principal. "So it means a lot to us to have volunteers come and get the school ready and looking great for the kids to come."
The outside is the first impression of a school. That's why the Rockford Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is cleaning up.
"Well I think anytime kids get the opportunity to help out and do something that's not in their own self interest, it's a positive thing," says Tyler Gunderson, a church member at Church of Jesus Christ of LDS.
More than 100 church members team up to pull weeds, spread mulch, and de-junk the schoolyards before summer break ends.
"For me, doing service for others is a way of serving the Lord," says youth group member Christopher Peterson. "So I feel like that's what everybody else feels."
Several schools in the area, including Auburn High School and Haskell Elementary School are getting facelifts, with the youth members taking the lead on what gets done.
"The interesting thing about the youth conference is we try and have the kids have a large hand in planning and organizing the activities including the service projects," says Gunderson.
The Haskell Elementary School principal smiled and said she's already thinking about ways to keep the weeds from coming back. So she has her work cut out for her, too.
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