Make a Difference Day: Paint a School
On October 23, 2010 members of the Pforzheimer Honors College took a bus to the Bronx to attend “Paint-A-School Day” at a local school that needed some restoration. The school was in dire need of painted murals to brighten up the walls, playground cleanup, and newly planted gardens.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted with breakfast and then separated into groups. The more muscularly inclined volunteers were stationed outside to throw away old desks and chairs into a dumpster. Myself and others put our efforts towards the playground where we helped clean and make it more attractive. I taped the basketball courts so the extremely faded lines could be repainted.
We then took a break from the courts and began sorting the school’s “Book Garage,” which is such an important location that was so disorganized. The program director mentioned that the storage room included items from the last 50 years! We found aging report cards and dust collecting trophies from years ago. This only gave us more motivation to try to put the place back into some sort of order.
After lunch, we went back out to the playground to remove the tape. It was remarkable to see what a difference it makes to have the lines repainted. The playground was transformed into a location that could be both appreciated and acknowledged. The benches surrounding the playground were next on our list. We used our creativity to paint murals and motivational quotes on the benches.
When we finished our work for the day, we felt proud to helped less fortunate children. While waiting for the bus, students engaged in a game of tag football with some of the local high school boys who began to trickle into the courts after we finished painting. To actually witness the children in the environment we had been working on all morning and to see their appreciation was the cherry on the sundae after a long Saturday morning.