SHEPHERD, Mont. - The new athletic director at Shepherd Schools is requiring all students involved in activities or athletics to do community service.

"The community shows up for our kids on Fridays and Saturdays and cheers for our kids," Shepherd Athletic Director Tina Downing said. "This is the center or our community. So, I asked all the coaches for every single activities program to get the kids out in the community and volunteer."

Students have been helping out at the school and around the community, doing things like: hauling hay, building a sandbox for kids at a daycare and building cubbies for teacher's classrooms.

"It gets us all working together and in the right mood to be a team," Freshman Phillip Kelly said. Kelly is a member of the Shepherd High School football team.

Fellow teammate agrees Braeden Rehder agrees.

"I honestly feel like it's bringing everyone closer," Rehder said. "We get to see and hang out with people we wouldn't usually hang out with. And, we get to work as a team to get an objective done."

Shepherd passed an $11.9 million bond in 2019 to renovate school facilities. Superintendent Drea O'Donnell said  those renovations include new high school science labs, a new K-12 library, a new cafeteria and kitchen, new classrooms for the elementary, a new Career Technical Education building and more.

O'Donnell said those renovations should be finished before school starts in the fall.

Downing said the community service is a way thank the community.

"It's good for us to get out here," Senior member of the softball team Marissa Roberson said. "It's a good workout. And, it's good to give back to our community."

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