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Late last month, a glimpse into the city of Seymour’s history was discovered in the form of several scrapbooks found in the archives of the Seymour Community Library.

Found were scrapbooks from the city’s 1964, 1965 and 1969 entries to the Missouri Community Betterment (MCB) program, where Seymour earned accolades each year.

Terry Penner, the city’s community-development director, took great interest in the historical books.

And she noticed a consistent theme.

“Seymour’s youth were very involved in the city’s efforts to beautify and improve our community,” Penner told the Seymour Board of Aldermen at the group’s regular monthly meeting last Tuesday, Aug. 10.

To that end, Penner began exploring options to involve Seymour’s students in the city’s current efforts to beautify and improve its business and residential districts.

She spoke with Amy Barlow, the counselor at Seymour High School, and learned that the school would like to partner with the city in the effort.

One way to do so is through the A+ Program at SHS.

“Community service is a requirement of receiving the A+ benefits,” Penner explained.

“And I spoke with (Barlow) about those volunteer hours required by our high-school students being used to help our residents clean up their yards.”

Barlow liked the idea.

“I really feel that we can begin a partnership between the city and the school in this way,” Penner said. “It’s a win-win for both of us. The students need the volunteer hours, which can be hard to find, and we have a lot of people in our city who can use the help.”

She added that other groups at SHS, including the FFA chapter and the National Honor Society, also could become involved in the citywide project.

“For our younger kids, we have groups like our scouting organizations that also could be involved,” Penner said.

Another idea, Penner noted, is a “Senior Service Day,” where SHS seniors as part of a senior project could assist city residents with cleanup efforts.

“I’m excited about the potential,” she said.

“We’re also excited about it,” North Ward Alderman Jim Ashley responded. “I know of a lot of people, especially the elderly, who could use this type of assistance, and everyone benefits in the end.”

Penner noted that in the 1960s scrapbooks, there were a wide variety of efforts to beautify Seymour that were led by its children, ranging from trash pick-up days to larger-scale projects done in conjunction with the city and its many civic organizations.

“One thing that was consistent was that our local school was very involved in the efforts,” she said. “The school and the city were partners in this, and I’d love to see a partnership like this begin again."

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