Students pitch in to clean up Illinois River bank in Lacon

By Mark Bullion

April 26, 2013 Updated Apr 26, 2013 at 9:55 PM CDT

LACON, Ill. -- Dozens of Midland High School students got out of the classroom Friday to help clean up their community as flood waters recede, but it is more than just cleaning up, it is also a learning opportunity.

Instead of burying their heads in textbooks, Midland High Students were busy emptying sandbags and cleaning up debris along the Illinois River bank in Lacon.

"It means a lot to help out the community and know you're doing something good," said one Midland student.

But Friday also served as a day to learn life building skills.

"It's a good way to get a lot of hands on training for people who don't get a lot of this stuff, and also it's nice exercise," said Midland High student Ben Poignant.

"Eventually some of these kids may be living here when they graduate, some may go somewhere else and find out they may be in the same situation they may end up," said Physical Education Teacher Jeff Herkelman. "They've got to learn that if you work in a group, you get more work done, like my grandfather and dad always said, more hands means less work."