POTTSVILLE, Pa. — While it looks like students at D.H.H. Lengel Middle School in Pottsville are just eating lunch together, they're actually brainstorming their next volunteer opportunity.
They're ambassadors for the middle school's club, Positive Behavior Intervention and Support. The kids call it PBIS for short. They've rallied more than 100 students to help build community inside and outside the school.
"If you don't have a community, the teachers aren't going to have a relationship with the kids. Which is not good because the whole point of school is for the teachers to help out the students, in life lessons or if they just need to talk to somebody," said seventh grader Adam Donya.
Lisa Holobetz, the club's advisor, has connected her students with different organizations in Pottsville that are short on volunteers.
"If they are struggling with something, whether it's in school or out of school, that they know they can find help with other agencies and groups that are in our town," she explained.
One of their biggest projects is cleaning cemeteries in the area.
"It made me sad seeing all the graves and how disrespectful people are. And I thought that making a difference by cleaning it up made me feel really good, and it made me feel like our veterans would be happy about this," said seventh grader Megan Goodman.
A couple of weeks ago, the students helped at the Salvation Army's food pantry.
"It makes me realize how much I should appreciate my parents, like how hard they work to get me all this stuff, and I would like to help others out when I have all this stuff so I can donate and give their families a dinner," added seventh grader Riley Davis.
By helping organizations in Pottsville, these students hope to inspire others to make an impact. No matter how old they are.
"I think it's really good giving back because I would like to inspire others and change the perception they give on middle schoolers and just change the way people see middle schoolers," said seventh grader Mylah Drummer.