Life Lessons Replacing Academic Lessons

By Justin Foss, Reporter


By Justin Foss

NEW HARTFORD - It's the beginning of June and pretty much the only thing students can think about is summer vacation. Well, that and the EF-5 tornado that hit town.

"Our minds were already distracted and then this happens, so its like our minds are no where," said Emily Merfeld, a Dike-New Hartford student.

"You can't really concentrate on your work any more, its hard," said fellow classmate Jeffrey Schott.

What they are concentrating on is helping others, friends like Elizabeth Weinberg. Her house was damaged in the storm and had to live out of town for a few days.

"Yesterday was our first day back in our house sleeping cause our power was out. That made it a little more difficult," said Weinberg.

Difficult, but not impossible.

Weinberg says she found a way to keep on the books...not today though.

Monday the high school and junior high spent the afternoon in the fields.

With just three days left of school, this might be there most important lesson yet. How to be a good neighbor.

If you consider the work they've done, the Superintendent says everyone here got an "A."

"We talk a lot about character counts and character building in our schools. This is one of the biggest things right now that we can do to build character in our kids and our community," said Dike-new Hartford Superintendent Lindsey Beecher.

Sure you won't see this lesson on a report card, but you will see it if you ever shake their hand.

B-C-L-U-W High School students helped out today too. They drove in from Conrad near Marshalltown.

Parents tell TV-9 that North Linn Community schools also sent about 100 students to Parkersburg.

Email Justin Foss at

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