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Student group in Anderson County builds character through service (WATE)

Posted Date: 01/20/2023

OLIVER SPRINGS, Tenn. (WATE) – A group of fifth grade boys at Norwood Elementary School in Anderson County are learning through serving.

The boys call themselves the Jag Pakk and they strive to display and model six-character traits: citizenship, respect, caring, responsibility, trustworthy, and fairness.

“They are funny, they are nice, and they have huge hearts not just for their school but for themselves and for each other,” said Frank Newcomb.

Newcomb mentors the eight young men. He meets with them once a week to discuss daily life topics and tackle community service projects.

“Every day that I come down the hallway it’s, ‘When are we meeting? when are we meeting!?’ Just them looking forward to that makes me happy,” said Newcomb.

The Jag Pakk focuses on one character trait a month. They’ve displayed citizenship by picking up trash around the school and written notes of encouragement to their peers to show they care.

Principal Lyndsay Foust says it’s been a treat to watch them grow into role models.

“I’ve noticed a huge difference in the morning during bus duty when students are coming in asking for help and assisting that way. They’ve done a great job,” said Foust.

The positives have been far reaching and while serving others they’ve also been able to promote their own personal growth.

“I’m so proud of them! I get so excited to see them help and see their eyes light up when they are able to be kind and caring or write encouraging notes to their friends or other staff members throughout the building,” said Foust.