Community service project improves playground at MES
The playground at Marlinton Elementary School is getting some attention from local volunteers.
AmeriCorps volunteer Dana Lehman said the project is part of a statewide initiative.
“This project is in observance of the Governor's Day to Serve,” explained Lehman. “It's a partnership between myself at the Linwood Library and Laura [Young] at the Family Resource Network.”
“We're working on doing some beautification and improvements to the school here,” Lehman said. “We're gonna work on repainting the basketball courts, painting a hop-scotch square, and — depending on how far we get today — we might do some other things around the school.”
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin designated September 29 as the Governor's Day to Serve. According to a press release from the governor's office, the project is designed as “a day dedicated to strengthening communities through volunteer service. Community organizations, faith-based organizations, civic and humanitarian groups along with governmental agencies are encouraged to participate in the day of service.”
“West Virginians are known for their kindness, compassion and neighborly spirit,” Tomblin said. “September 29 will be a great day — through our collective efforts, we will foster friendships, beautify our communities and lift spirits.”
Laura Young, director at the Family Resource Network, said the FRN paid for the materials, and Lehman provided the muscle.
“He's getting the people, I'm getting the materials, and hopefully we'll be able to do something for the kids,” Young said. “The FRN has some grant money to do some community service projects like this. We decided we'd go ahead and repaint part of the playground. We've got a few projects lined up, we're thinking about repainting this mural here, but we've got to split them up. It takes a lot of manpower and money.”
Young said they've been involved with projects at the elementary school in the past.
“We do a Read Aloud here,” Young said. “Marlinton Elementary was the first school that allowed us to come in with readers, Susan Arbogast let us in her classroom last year. Now we have readers in nearly every classroom. The school has just been really good to open their doors to us.”
Lehman said Young coordinated the project with Debbie Irvine, physical education teacher at the elementary school.
“She'd indicated that she was interested in getting some of these things done,” Lehman said. “I think it's a great project. Improving the playground, making it a little more fun, a little safer, more activities available for the kids — at a school, that's always a good thing.”
Lehman said he was happy to get involved.
“Working for the library, I have an interest in education, and it's always nice to be outside on a pretty day like today,” Lehman said.