Volunteers to Beautify Santa Clara School April 28-29

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The children and staff of Pomeroy Elementary in Santa Clara will leave their well-worn campus on an upcoming Friday to return on Monday to a brighter, fresher school, thanks to a full weekend of volunteer labor.

More than 300 volunteers are expected to descend on the campus in the Santa Clara Unified School District on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, to clean, paint, build, and garden, in a project called “Beautify Pomeroy”. The group Beautiful Day is signing up people from all over Silicon Valley who want to invest in the children’s futures through the service project.

“Beautify Pomeroy” is part of an even larger community-wide annual Beautiful Day event that is expected to utilize approximately 6,000 volunteers between April 21 and 29. Projects include cleaning area freeways, refurbishing homes, cleaning parks and neighborhoods, helping the homeless, and more.

By the end of that weekend at Pomeroy, the teachers’ lounge will have a new look, as well as a refrigerator that actually works, replacing the old broken one. The school’s community garden will have new planter boxes and a solar-powered water feature. The playground will have some new equipment, as well as a recycling center to collect empty juice boxes and water bottles. And around campus some walls will sport fresh paint and murals.

“I think it’s just exciting to think about what you’re doing for the next generation,” said Lori Dabak, one of the project’s coordinators. “You don’t know how this investment will affect something down the road.”

She said one of the goals of the weekend event is to provide the school with the extras that tight budgets don’t usually allow, by bringing together the resources and volunteers to make it all happen.

Dabak is using her skills as an interior designer to refresh the teachers’ lounge. A team will give the lounge a new seating area, a new working fridge, and new audio/visual equipment. She said the “Beautify Pomeroy” team dreamed about “what would make the teachers feel special,” so that it would translate back to the students.

The special treatment of teachers and staff starts Friday, when volunteers are serving up an appreciation brunch and lunch featuring home cooked dishes, she said. The next day volunteers go to work on the numerous improvement projects around campus.

One of the biggest projects is fixing up the community garden, Dabak said. Each classroom has a planter box to grow vegetables and herbs, but those boxes are in serious disrepair. She said their condition makes it difficult for teachers to use the boxes as part of lessons.

Besides rebuilding the boxes, teams of volunteers will also rebuild a compost bin, replace a tool shed, trim overgrown trees and shrubs, and install a small solar-powered water fountain. A pathway through the middle of the garden will get asphalt for a permanent surface.

Another outdoor project is installing header board around grass areas “to give it a clean look,” Dabak said.

Volunteers painted this map of the world on the blacktop at George Mayne Elementary in Alviso, CA., during a 2011 service event.

A large colorful map of the U.S. is planned for the playground’s blacktop. Beautiful Day oversaw a similar map painting project during last year’s event at George Mayne Elementary in Aliviso. Dabak said it takes at least 20 people to paint the map.

The group will also replace some playground equipment, clean out planter boxes around trees, and build the recycling center. Walls inside the cafeteria will get a fresh coat of paint, and other painting projects are on tap that weekend.

Dabak said the event is perfect for families and groups who wish to volunteer together; children as young as 5 are welcome, with adult supervision.

To sign up, or for more information about “Beautify Pomeroy”, see the Beautiful Day website.

Are you volunteering with Beautiful Day in April? Please let us know in comments!

To see more stories about Beautiful Day, see our special page.

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  1. […] to recruit up to 6,000 volunteers to refurbish homes, neighborhoods, parks, creeks, freeways, an elementary school, and much more. Most of the projects will take place the final weekend, April 28 and […]