Haughton program aims to improve town’s look

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(Courtesy of Chief Rodney Farrington)

The Haughton community is getting a clean sweep this summer thanks to local high school students.

The town of Haughton has employed a group of teens to maintain the community’s appearance through tasks like mowing the grass and picking up trash.

Police Chief Rodney Farrington said the group is providing a general service while also learning basic work ethic.

“This is preparing them for the future, keeping them out of trouble and putting a little money in their pockets,” Farrington said.

The town began employing students for the summer job program in 2006. Farrington said they received a grant to purchase the necessary equipment and the town pays their wages.

Farrington said the program isn’t just about making money though.

“They are keeping the town clean and have an opportunity to build relationships with town officials,” he said. “It’s a great deal for them.”

The summer job program is advertised to area high schools, not just in Haughton or exclusive to Bossier Parish. This summer, however, the group consists of all Haughton High students, ages 16 and 17.

Those selected must be of school age and have passing grades in all their classes. Students work 7 a.m. until noon Monday through Friday.

Farrington said the students are allowed to take time off to spend with family on vacation or during special events. All he asks is that students give enough notice before taking off.

“It’s just like having a real job,” Farrington said. “We stress to them that we’re building character that will follow them the rest of their lives. Once they get out of school and into the workforce, this is something they will have to do every single day – wake up, go to work and follow the rules and regulations of the job. This will be nothing new to them.”

The summer job program began this week and will continue through the summer until school resumes in August.