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Students Learning Through Service
Oak Aca 1
Oakdale Academy students Tyler Cunningham, Nicholas Millspaw, Spencer Von Savoye and Ty Hudelson stayed busy raking leaves and tending to yard work while assisting the Padrnos family in their Waterford home. Photo Contributed


Cy Cole, founder and Director of Oakdale Academy, recently offered his students an opportunity to combine service and education. The most recent application came in the way of sharing the story of a Waterford couple in need of assistance. As a follow-up to the students spending time serving, they were asked to recount the experience in an article, as if writing for a newspaper.

The back story is of grandparents Daniel and Pat Padrnos of Waterford, who will take custody of their three grandchildren in mid-December. The couple, in their 70s, needed to get their home and environment prepared to be suitable for three children.

The following three excerpts were taken from Cole’s top three chosen student submissions, combined to tell the story of the service project.


Caesar Garza writes: Can you imagine adopting 3 kids and are 75 years old and your husband is really sick? She needed help so Oakdale Academy stepped up. Oakdale Academy has been helping them for about a month. So far we have all worked at the house and had a fundraiser for the kids. We raised $528.25 to buy something nice for the kids.

John Sargis continues: About a month ago we went to Waterford to clean the woman’s home to have a place for the children to live. We had to clean every room and all the walls. Clean every spider web and dust off unreachable places. We also picked weeds, raked and pack away unwanted items and vacuum every corner of the house. It took about four hours, but we are so glad we did it. It warms my heart to know their three children will have a clean place to live for the next several years. Their grandmother that is going to take care of them gave a thank you to us for helping her.

Caleb Cole concluded: At the end of the day Mr. Cole was left with 24 tired students and a pocket full of cash. Mr. Cole and the students totaled up the earnings and was pleased with the number of $528.25. If you ask me, that’s enough to make a difference in the lives of three little kids. With that money they were able to buy beds and some toys for the kids.

According to Cole after a day of laboring and cleaning at the Waterford home, the students wanted to do something specifically for the children. As a result the school hosted a hot dog and bake sale, as well as a car wash grossing over $528, which was the money given to the Waterford couple as they open their home to their grandchildren.

Oakdale Academy is located 1040 W. F St., Oakdale. Cole may be reached at 840-2600.