Kids, Community Members, and Corporation Team Up To Revitalize NYC Schools, Park

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“Christmas has come in July for PS 28!” said Principal Nunez of Public School 28 after a group of volunteers spend a day revitalizing his school facility and installing new equipment. And this was a truly collaborative effort.

All of these organizations and people came together on July 15 to work side-by-side for a day of community service and civic action: Children for Children, the new youth and education arm of HandsOn Network; Public School (PS) 28; New Heights Academy Charter School; Digitas, a global marketing and advertising firm; and dedicated, energetic community members.

The group worked at PS 28, New Heights Academy and Jackie Robinson Park, all in New York City. Nearly 600 volunteers participated in this transformational day, performing tasks such as building a greenhouse, brightening school walls with inspirational quotes, painting 18 murals and planting flowers to beautify the neighborhood.

Volunteers also remodeled the teacher’s lounge at PS 28 with new lockers, a new refrigerator, two new microwaves and a completely new set of furniture. Students partnered with the Digitas volunteers to decorate recycling bins for the new recycling program at PS 28 and paint sports figures to decorate the gymnasium, among other tasks to revitalize the facility.

Volunteers at the park cleaned gardens, repaired fencing, painted benches and planted flowers at Jackie Robinson Park, restoring the outdoor recreation area to make it more suitable for community members to enjoy.

"It’s days like this that remind me of how special this place is and how at any time, we can galvanize our community to make a difference in our neighborhood," said a community member.

This event brought alive the importance of service and community involvement for the students of PS 28 and New Heights Academy, demonstrating their ability to impact the world around them. Community members and students collaborated to plan and design each project for this large-scale event, a step toward fully integrating service into the culture of the schools.

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