DERRY — Volunteerism is alive and well at Pinkerton Academy.
And a recent volunteer fair gave students a chance to hear more about ways to help in the community.
Students filed through the high school’s annual volunteer fair on Oct. 22, looking for opportunities to do community service and help others.
This was the 16th year for the fair. Representatives from area nonprofit agencies and organizations came to the Shepard Auditorium to meet prospective student volunteers and offer information about what they do.
Organizations represented this year included Children's Hospital at Dartmouth, Community Alliance for Teen Safety, Derry Heritage Commission/Friends of Forest Hill Cemetery, Derry Public Library, Derry Recreation Department, Easter Seals of New Hampshire, Sonshine Soup Kitchen, Special Olympics and The Upper Room.
It is a way to bring nonprofit organizations to the school to help students find things they might be interested in doing as a volunteer. Students are very interested, according to Pinkerton Career and Technical Education Assistant Director Tracy Untiet.
Classes came to the fair during lunch and other free times.
Derry Heritage Commission/Friends of Forest Hill Cemetery member and local historian T.J. Cullinane worked a table and chatted with students about volunteer opportunities at the Derry History Museum and the historic cemetery in East Derry.
He said the fair offers a chance to get students interested in all kinds of things, including the town's strong history.
He added being at the fair is also a great way to spread the word about what the Heritage Commission does and what the local museum offers.
"We've had some really good workers come out of here," Cullinane said, adding some students sign up to fulfill community service requirements, but then decide to stay.
"We plant the seed and, hopefully, they come back," Cullinane said.
Derry Recreation Coordinator Nicole Ferrante had students signing up on a variety of clipboard sheets for volunteer opportunities ranging from helping with Special Olympics events, the upcoming Very Derry Holiday or at various other recreational activities.
She said she was seeing a lot of student interest.
"It's good to help build the groups we can't always staff," Ferrante said. "More hands are always helpful and it's a great opportunity for youth to have experience to do these things."