The Big Event 2019

BIG Event 1 - Weeds 0: Winners? Rio Rancho Residents!
Posted on 11/23/2019

Students with wheelbarrow and rake doing yard workHundreds of Rio Rancho students and adult volunteers took on the worst weeds unkempt lawns could throw at them.  Result: tens of thousands of tumbleweeds and goatheads are on the way to the landfill, and dozens of homeowners have big smiles and cleared lawns.

Student with rake and big tumbleweedRio Rancho High School's BIG Event is a one-day service project where teams of students, supervised by adult volunteers, visit homes in Rio Rancho to perform odd-jobs and chores such as raking leaves, pulling weeds and cleaning yards. The project, sponsored by RRHS's Associated Students is a way to say, "Thank You!" to the community for its support of our public schools.

Three students bagging weedsThe participating students are split into teams of five or six students under the supervision of an adult volunteer, many of whom are teachers.  RRPS bus drivers transport the students and their equipment -- yard tools, painting supplies, trash bags -- to the job sites.  This year, 600 students and 100 adults provided help to 100 residents.  

Female student pulling weed, dwarfed by pile of tumbleweedsAny Rio Rancho homeowner can apply to have a student team help at their home.  Many of the residents requesting assistance are senior citizens who have trouble weeding or performing other chores on their own.  The event accepts as many homeowner requests as it has available volunteers. 

In addition to Rio Rancho High students, students and student organizations from other schools -- including rival Cleveland High -- also help out.  The student team shown in the photos in this article are from the Junior National Honor Society at Lincoln Middle School.  

Girl raking with mountains in backgroundThe BIG Event is one of the largest single-day high school community service projects in the country.  RRHS held its first BIG Event in 2008, and was one of the first high schools in the country to adopt the concept.  Schools in other states are now contacting Rio Rancho High to learn how to start "Big Events" of their own. 

Earlier this year,
RRHS's BIG Event was recognized as the National High School Community Service Project of the Year by Varsity Spirit Brands.