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October 26, 2015

Beautiful schools encourage positive learning

At Reading Partners Silicon Valley, we love partnering with other organizations to build a community and a culture of giving back to all of the schools we serve. Our staff seek out creative ways to get involved in the region, from sorting educational materials for local classrooms to volunteering for the Superbowl 50 Host Committee. One of our favorite ways to give back, however, is through regular school beautification projects.

Every school should enjoy beautiful landscaping, sparkling clean facilities, and opportunities to learn through art and the natural environment. Unfortunately, many schools lack the resources to be able to create these types of learning spaces. This is where the power of volunteers comes into play.

IMG_3053On Saturday, October 17, Reading Partners Site Coordinator Amanda Miller, Volunteer Coordinator Nick Hamrol, and Community Engagement Manager Tiffany Tedesco rolled up their sleeves to participate in a beautification project at Roosevelt Elementary in Redwood City. Led by the Peninsula Community Center, the “Beautiful Day” program is in its eighth year of transforming and engaging the community by organizing days of service at local schools.

Roosevelt Elementary is a place where staff, students, and parents are actively involved in creating a welcoming environment for all. The campus itself is filled with unique flourishes that positively influence visitors. For example, “to get to the Reading Partners center, you walk up a flight of rainbow stairs and past a butterfly mural — it’s beautiful!” says Roosevelt Site Coordinator Amanda Miller. The warm culture of support that already exists around the school inspires others to make it an even better place for students to learn and grow.

Tiffany Tedesco, who volunteered her time to beautify Roosevelt Elementary, stated, “I love being a part of a project that creates an inspiring atmosphere for students, teachers, parents, and faculty. I think it’s a great opportunity to be of service in a different way and enjoy the outdoors.”

IMG_3065In addition to improving school facilities, service projects like this one are also a wonderful way to connect volunteers with future opportunities to give back to the community. After the project at Roosevelt, Nick Hamrol said, “we connected with a lot of potential volunteers through this event, most of which came from the same church.”

Events like “Beautiful Day” demonstrate the true power of community involvement. In order to better empower our communities, we must extend the spirit of service outside of our reading centers and collaborate with groups who share our commitment. Together we are better!

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