Paint-A-School with Honors Students

Make-A-Difference Day took place on October 15, 2011 and the Pace University community was very active in the day’s events.  The students of the Pforzheimer Honors College volunteered that Saturday for the “Paint-A-School-Day” project in which P.S. 107, an elementary school in the Bronx, was repainted and redecorated.

We gathered in the school cafeteria and were offered breakfast – bagels, muffins, and orange juice- to give us an energy boost for the work to be done.  We were then split into groups. The majority of volunteers, including myself, were led outside to refinish the metal fence surrounding the school. All who were left were sent upstairs to recoat the walls with brighter colors, to the playground to paint over faded lines and numbers, or to the front of the school where flowers were going to be planted. For those of us lucky enough to work outside, it was a beautiful day. Even thought it was rather windy, the bright and persistent sun was refreshingly warm.

My group started in the front of the school, where two people were assigned to each section of the fence. We were first instructed to scrape off rusty spots on the fence so that the paint would go on with a smooth coat. Once that was finished, we were to set down drop cloths and begin to paint.  When our sections were a glossy black color instead of the dull rust, we moved onto the next section of fence and started the sequence again.

Everyone was required to take a break– lunchtime. As we were eating the provided pizza, a leader of the service project read a letter that a younger female student wrote to us. In it she expressed her desire to return to school the following Monday and see “pretty flowers” as she walks inside, as well as the repainted areas. It was truly heart-melting. When we returned to work, we had even more motivation to get things finished on time, for the sake of the school’s students.

When it was time for us to depart, everyone agreed that there was a clear transformation in the appearance of the school, for the better. It was definitely an improved environment. We walked to the buses with proud smiles on our faces, knowing that we made a difference for the youth of the area. This was truly a fantastic feeling. The whole experience is one that I would definitely do again without hesitation, and would advise my friends and classmates to participate in this worthwhile event. On the bus ride home, we were given T-shirts to help us remember the day and that no matter how small an action is, one person can really make a difference.