CAIRO POLICE DEPARTMENT employees “feel the love” from C.H.S. clubs. Pictured on the back row, l-r, are Sgt. Chris Sapp, Lt. Wayne Redden, Sgt. Shana Lane, patrol officer Clarence Williams, Cpl. Brandon Griffin, Chief Giovannie Santos, secretary Holly Bryant and Lt. Karen Cromartie.
On March 25, students from multiple clubs and organizations at Cairo High School took a field trip around Cairo to show appreciation for staff at the Cairo Police Department, Cairo Fire Department, Grady County Emergency Medical Services station, and Grady General Hospital.
Fourteen students thanked the essential workers for their dedication amidst the pandemic, and placed signs with messages of encouragement and appreciation in grassy areas surrounding their workplaces.
The group represented grades 9-12 and at least 10 clubs and organizations, including the Future Farmers of America, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Syrupmaker band, Political Science Club, N.J.R.O.T.C., Interact, Helping Hands Club, Voices of Cairo show choir and Student Council.
Four school employees assisted with the delivery effort, including bus drivers Cody Stinson and Candy Welch, C.H.S. math teacher and Interact sponsor Mrs. Paige Banks and Grady County School District transportation director Adrienne Cruel.
City police Lt. Wayne Redden expressed the police department’s appreciation to the group, saying, “It really helps us to know that even though there are a lot of bad things out there against us, that there are some people out there [that are] thoughtful.”
According to Mrs. Banks, Cairo High junior Linda Adams approached the Interact sponsor about organizing this service project with the help of herself and other club sponsors. Interact contributed funds to purchase the signs, and several students gathered to handwrite messages on them a week before delivery.
Adams recruited Mr. Scott Easom, art teacher at Cairo High School, to embellish some of the signs with his airbrush materials.
Mrs. Banks said that the field trip would not have been possible without the coordination of Ms. Adrienne Cruel, who also recently helped Adams to arrange a reception for Grady County Schools bus drivers. Cruel says that after hearing about Adams’ plans for a field trip at the reception, bus driver Cody Stinson volunteered to transport the C.H.S. clubs around Cairo to deliver the signs.
Both the bus driver appreciation and sign-making efforts are part of the junior’s larger initiative to thank all Grady County essential workers for their work during the pandemic, an effort Linda says was inspired by her mother’s desire to appreciate nurses.
“There’s just so much I want to do… I feel like I’m going to run out of time before I get the chance to do it,” the junior shared.
Adams’ additional service projects include thank you signs for C.H.S. teachers; getting help from Cairo High School assistant principal Natalie Hudson to appreciate the high school’s custodians; and distributing handwritten cards for Grady County nursing home residents, created by the Helping Hands Club and students of Mrs. Candace Childs and Mrs. Whitney Brown. The junior is currently looking for ways to appreciate C.H.S. lunchroom staff and crossing guards.