Bamberg-Ehrhardt: Working Together as a Community
Corina Vidaurri | May 11, 2016
Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School (B-EHS), home of the Red Raiders, is well known in the community because of the incredible football legacy built by Leon Maxwell over 22 years. Leon Maxwell’s stellar career led to him being inducted in the S.C. Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1995. His son, Randall Maxwell, has served as principal at B-EHS for the past 14 years; he has been with the school district for 30 years. Throughout Principal Maxwell’s tenure at B-EHS and the school district, open community use has always been allowed. The school allows the community to use the outdoor track and outdoor fields after school hours and when the school is not using the facilities. He said his is a “small, close community”, meaning that everyone does their fair share to pitch in as neighbors. Sports found a way to unite not only the students with the educators but the school as a whole with the members of the community. Community members volunteer to help maintain the facilities, as well as help keep a watchful eye on the outdoor facilities.
Principal Maxwell is very open to his school being used for positive purposes, such as exercise and leisure. He feels that no one should be turned away from using the outdoor facilities. The facilities were built for the school, yes, but, the school is a part of the community. For Principal Maxwell, it is not only about allowing people to use the facilities; it is about working together to achieve more. Aside from open-community use, B-EHS has had school gardens; students sell the produce to the community to create healthy food access. The students are also involved in a recycling program to teach them not only about community but also about the environment. The Red Raiders are leading the charge in creating a healthier community!
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging schools and districts to expand open community use statewide. Healthy Eating/Active Living coordinators from DHEC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity are providing assistance and guidance in an effort to convince schools across South Carolina to make their outdoor facilities available for public use to promote physical activity, healthy lifestyles, and stronger communities.