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Student volunteers donate time to library

Eight local students spent their summer volunteering at the Selma and Dallas County Public Library, helping out in the children’s department, with various summer programs and more.

“Every May, we offer an application for boys and girls going into the seventh grade or older that have good grades and references,” said Beck Nichols, library director. “We invite them to come up and volunteer for a certain number of hours for some of the activities that we have going on.”

Nichols said it’s a great opportunity for the students to meet people from other schools and make new friends.

“They have just represented across the board,” she said. “They have blended together across all kinds of lines and developed relationships.”

Kristin Smith, a Selma High School 10th grade student, said she signed up after volunteering throughout the year.

“It’s been a great experience. I enjoyed all the activities that we had weekly and I enjoyed the kids,” Smith said. “I learned how to interact with other people. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Smith said she encourages people to volunteer over the summer, giving them something to do.

“I learned that when the summer comes, you can get more active instead of just being at home,” Smith said. “The library is a great place to be to be reading and having fun and getting to know people better.”

Rachel Johnson, a Morgan Academy 10th grader, said she used this summer to open up and meet new people.

“It helps you with your self-confidence and being able to talk with strangers and being able to interact with people you don’t know,” Johnson said.

“Usually I don’t get to interact that much and this is a good opportunity for me to be able to talk to more people, so I really enjoyed it.”

Jabez Edwards, a homeschooled 10th grader, said he enjoyed interacting with people from all over Selma.

“I decided to do this because I thought it would be a great experience for me just to go around and talk to other people and get to know them, and also help get me over my shyness,” Edwards said.

“I had a lot of fun, especially when it came to seeing the kids and how their imagination works.”

The students had the chance to work with younger kids on crafts, programs and more and also learned how to work the desk and check out books. But making new friends and opening up to people seemed to be the favorite accomplishment of the summer.

“I really enjoyed this experience because I’m kind of a shy person so I really needed to get out of my shell,” said Messia Ellis, a ninth grader at Cathedral Academy.

Kyra Melton, a Selma High 10th grader, said she wanted to spend her summer being productive and helping out and she thought the library was the perfect place to do that.

“My favorite part was interacting with the different people and different ages and seeing people from different backgrounds and different schools,” Melton said.“I wanted to do it just to be out in the community and volunteer and help out where help is needed.”

Kaylee Whitaker, Matthew Carter and Jada Maxwell were also summer volunteer participants.