Return to Headlines

PSM students enjoy helping out custodian

Published on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022

simmons with two students and custodial cart

BCSD photos / Monica Kreber

Students at Philip Simmons Middle always look forward to “Club Day”.

This is held once a month, and it allows students to pursue different interests like ultimate Frisbee, Double Dutch, step, sports and games, and more. Club Day allows for community building and gives students a chance to do some fun activities that they may not get to do every day at school.

However, some students have recently decided to utilize their club time at school to help out their beloved custodian, Rubin Simmons, and the experience is teaching them to take pride in keeping their school clean, as well as how hard custodial staff members to get the job done.

Simmons is in his second year as a custodian at Philip Simmons Middle. Last semester, he had to put in a lot of extra work when a fellow custodian had to take a leave of absence, and a couple of students thought maybe he could use a hand.

Sixth-grader Da'Von Wallace decided he wanted to step up and help out, and recruited his brother, sixth-grader De'Aaron, to join.

They first got permission from Principal Charla Groves. simmons sweeping cafeteria with student

“I said, ‘absolutely,’” she said. “I asked him (Mr. Simmons) if he would like the help…he got a little emotional, he couldn’t believe the students wanted to give up their club time and help him.”

The brothers proceeded to get about 10 more students interested in helping out during their club time as well. They will help out by taking out trash, cleaning tables, sweeping and mopping and overall tidying up.

Simmons dotes on the school’s students, and said he loves being a part of Philip Simmons Middle (listen to a testomonial from Simmons).

Seeing students wanting to help him out meant a lot to him.

“The children touch your heart,” he said. “When you’ve got someone who cares for you and loves you and you didn’t know it, and now they’re showing it to you…that makes you feel good.”

Simmons said Philip Simmons Middle is a special place.

“Why is so special? Because the students make it special to me, and the teachers make me feel special,” he said. “When somebody appreciates the work that you do…what more can you do?”

The brothers said they have learned just how hard of a job it is for a custodian to keep the building clean.

“It’s one person and a big school,” Da'Von said.

The opportunity has also allowed them to get to know Simmons, who the students described as a funny, nice and hardworking person.

“He’s cool,” De'Aaron said. “He comes to lunch and talks to us.”

Groves said it moved her to see students wanting to pitch in to help keep the school clean.

“We’re always proud of our children,” Groves said. “They have kind hearts, but especially now when things are a little bit extra difficult. It really made me super emotional.”



Monica Kreber