NEWTON, GA (WALB) - Students from Pataula Charter Academy took their learning outside the classroom and into the community on Tuesday.
For most students today was a chance to volunteer in the communities where they live.
For one student, it was a chance to help residents going through the same struggle as other victims of the tornadoes and the horrific winds.
"We see the lights go out and the windows start ratting and everything so I'm freaking out," said sophomore Madison Taylor.
It's been two weeks since the violent storm swept through Taylor's house in Leary. The fear and the sights she saw she says are things she won't forget.
"We go to the back door and we open the door and see a whole tree right in front of us," Taylor recalled.
Since that morning she has been cleaning debris from her yard and neighborhood. Tuesday was no different.
"I'm very happy to help," said Taylor.
Taylor is one of several dozen students at Pataula Charter Academy who stepped outside the classroom and into the community today to help storm victims clean their yards.
Principal Jim Morrell said it teaches students service and compassion; something the school was founded on.
"It's giving them an opportunity to put their learning into practice but it also gives them a sense of pride in going out and helping the community. That compassion part of it," said Morrell.
From raking, to cutting limbs, to moving debris to the end of the road students worked until the yards were spotless.
"Yards have big old oak trees down and big logs but we are taking them out one by one," said junior Austin Bullard. "It's just nice to get out and see the smiles on people's faces and helping, just helping out."
Residents, as well as Newton's mayor, said the kindness of the students isn't going unnoticed.
"I'm glad they came out because we didn't really know how we were going to clean all of this up and I appreciate their help very much," said Angela Johnson.
"We appreciate them coming because we have the need here and we just want to give the citizens of Newton relief from all of this rain and disaster that they've had," said Mayor Gary Coker.
The principal said the students enjoyed their time cleaning up.
He said it was a great chance for them to bond with members of the community.