Volunteers give Plantation Park Elementary a fresh exterior

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Early Saturday Morning over 50 young adults arrived at Plantation Park Elementary School in Bossier Parish to give the exterior of the school a fresh look.

Service included painting the entrance poles to look like pencils, removing old mulch and sheeting and replaced sheeting and mulch for front landscape of the school. The volunteers also painted rocks for rock garden in honor of a deceased teacher, Norma McKellar, which functions as an outdoor classroom. 

One teacher commented that the volunteers “looked like ants” as they busily went about their work.  

This service project was part of a Young Single Adult conference held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Participants came in from surrounding cities and states to take part in the two-day conference focused on building faith in Jesus Christ through learning, fellowship, and service. 

Preparation for this project began in advance with Jake Byrd, a volunteer from Advanced Mobile Blasting, who sandblasted 60 years of paint off the poles to get them ready for the updated look. 

Ryan Cameron, a volunteer who drove up from Baton Rouge, reflected on the project from the time they arrived to the time they finished by saying, “At first it was a little daunting, but as we started working and it went by faster than we realized.  In a little bit of time it looked great. It was really cool to see the transformation.”

Many generous donation of time, resources, and funds made this project possible. A donation from Lowes provided the landscaping materials to give the front a face lift. The family of former teacher, Norma McKellar, provided the supplies for the honorary rock garden.

Brianna Aguilar, a volunteer from Mt. Pleasant, Texas shared her experience with the project, “We walked through the halls and they had all these cute motivation quotes and we saw pictures of the students from different backgrounds and they were so happy. It was really neat to have the opportunity to help in a community like this and we hope to bring a bigger smile to their face when they come back to school.”

Kim Hawkins, assistant principal of of the school, explained that Plantation Park is a Title 1 school and often relies on outside support and volunteers to accomplish projects such as this and build a sense of community. 

She went on to say, “Our goal is for the kids to beating down the door to get in, rather than beating down the door to get out.” The new paint and colorful exterior will hopefully add to the experience for the students as they arrive for the first day of school.