LANCASTER – This coming Saturday (May 11), an anticipated volunteer work force of more than 300 people will cover Monte Vista Elementary School in 200 gallons of donated paint and primer. This event will be the final brush stroke in a masterpiece of school, parent, and community collaboration.
Kim Cook, president of the Monte Vista Parent Association, organized the project from its early beginnings in the fall of 2012. That’s when a parent volunteer entered the school in the ‘Colorful Classroom’ competition held by Glidden Paints.
“Fundraising is hard, so we do what we can,” said Cook. “This has been more about getting the community involved than big money. Though, we wouldn’t mind big money,” Cook added with a smile.
Monte Vista finished in the top five of the Glidden competition, winning them 200 gallons of paint and primer. The announcement fueled a movement of community volunteerism to get the school painted.
The first of the weekend projects began on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as part of the ‘Day of Service’ campaign. Local community groups began the prep work of scraping and patching on the campus. This work was made possible by donations and volunteers from the Lancaster Home Depot store, as well as a donation of over $1,000 made by the Monte Vista Parent Association. Arrowhead Water also donated water for the volunteer workforce.
In April, a group of community volunteers showed up, more than 100 strong, to finish the scraping and priming. More than 300 volunteers are expected for the final portion of the project, the actual painting of the school, which will happen this Saturday.
“Monte Vista has been serving this community for 60 years, and we understand that wear comes with that service,” said Dr. Michele Bowers, Superintendant of the Lancaster School District. “None of this would be possible right now, without these wonderful people and organizations. All these groups coming together truly showcases the culture of respect we strive to cultivate. We are teaching our students, by example, how to be future citizens of the world.”
The painting of Monte Vista Elementary School will happen from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Any community member over the age of 18 is invited to attend. Lunch will be served.
(Information via press release from Lancaster School District.)